Auburn Commitment Discusses Highlight Play

Auburn commitment Philip Lutzenkirchen talks about his impressive play last Friday.

Marietta, Ga.—Last Friday night Lassiter High School and Centennial met in a Region 6 AAAAA clash with playoff implications on the line. Early in the game the Trojans had the ball leading 7-0 and faced with a fourth and seven from the Centennial 12-yard line when tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen made a play that will go down as one of the top plays of the 2008 football season–not just high school, but at any level.

The call from the sidelines was Ace Mesh-Y, but Centennial had the play well-defended.

"Our quarterback (Hutson Mason) read through the progressions and no one was open so he just lobbed it up to me," Lutzenkirchen recalls.

"I went up for the ball inbounds and caught it mid-air, but momentum was taking me out of bounds. I wouldn't have been able to get a foot in.

"When I looked up I kind of saw the other team's secondary stop and wait to see if I was going to come down with the ball. My teammate, Reid (Handler), starting running toward me and I we were both on the same page. I push-passed it to him and we scored a touchdown."

All of the defenders stood and watched Lutzenkirchen as he had zero chance to catch the ball and get a foot down. Meanwhile, Handler's route was in the flats, but when the ball was thrown to the back of the end zone he started drifting into the corner and was unguarded.

"Reid was really supposed to be in the flat and I guess he was running up to see if I caught the ball," Lutzenkirchen says. "When he ran up toward me I just threw it to him.

"When I realized I wasn't going to get me foot in–and it was fourth down–I just tried to make a play and it ended up working," he adds.

Even more impressive, Lutzenkirchen isn't your ordinary receiver. He's six-foot-four and 250 pounds. He is planning on playing basketball his senior season, but on the football field he made the equivalent of grabbing a rebound and making a touch-pass all in one motion while being in a sprint and staying in bounds.

For Auburn fans, the play has been reminiscent of Karlos Dansby's interception interception of Darian Durant in the 2001 Peach Bowl when he caught it out of bounds in mid-air on the sideline and threw it back in to Dontarrious Thomas, another current NFL player.

The score put Lassiter up 14-0 and the Trojans went on to a 49-21 victory. Even though they're 7-2 on the year, they must beat Roswell High School on Friday to earn a playoff berth.

Lutzenkirchen and his teammates have a big game to get ready for, but the play from last week's game is still getting loads of publicity. "It's been kind of crazy," he says. "It's mainly been on the ESPN shows–SportsCenter, PTI, First Take."

The youtube.com clip has also received more than 100,000 hits.

Lutzenkirchen has been an Auburn commitment since May 16, choosing Auburn over Clemson and Stanford at the time. Still solid to Auburn, he is taking an official visit Florida State after the game against Roswell. He has been recruited by FSU tight ends coach James Coley.

Next week Lutzenkirchen will take his official visit to Auburn as the Tigers play Georgia. The tight end adds that he has heard the rumors about Tommy Tuberville and his job status, but isn't paying attention to them. "Those are just rumors," Lutzenkirchen explains. "Until I can sit down and talk to Coach next weekend I'm not listening to them."


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