Remembering Lutzenkirchen

Coach Gus Malzahn and former Auburn players remember Philip Lutzenkirchen.

Marietta, Ga.--Dozens of former Auburn players, Coach Gus Malzahn, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, former Lassiter head coach, currrent Auburn staff member Chip Lindsey and Chette Williams were among the thousands who turned out Wednesday night to pay their respects to Philip Lutzenkirchen.

Gus Malzahn

"As a coach you're not supposed to have favorites, but I believe speaking for all the coaches at Auburn Philip made that extremely tough because of the type of player he was, but more importantly the type of person he was."

"He will be remembered as one of the best players to ever put on an Auburn jersey, no doubt. He had a great football IQ. He was like a coach on the field. He would come back on the sidelines and say, ‘Coach this is there or that is there.' It was just a joy. He was a great competitor. He played his best when the pressure was the highest."

Chip Lindsey, Jay Jacobs, Gus Malzahn, Chette Williams take part in a candlelight silent moment for Lutzenkirchen

"I always ask our players to use their influence in a positive way and I believe the Lord will reward you," Malzahn said. "Philip had that figured out before he got to Auburn. That's a tribute to his parents and his sisters and his family and everyone that helped raise him.

"When I think of him I think of a caring person," the coach said. "He truly cared about people. He made you feel like family, but also probably had more friends than any player I ever coached. Old players loved him and that's rare for a young guy coming in. Younger players were attracted to him. They just wanted to be around him. He was like a magnet."

"Philip was humble," Malzahn said. "He never let success change him. Philip was a star, there is no doubt, whether it was Auburn or anywhere else. That's very rare that people can stay true to who they are and he definitely did that. I always respected Philip because he was courageous. He stood up for his beliefs and didn't give in to peer pressure, whether it was his spiritual beliefs or just his opinion. He would always be strong with it and I always appreciated that."

A crowd of more than 5,000 turned out to show their respect for Philip Lutzenkirchen on Wednesday night at Lassiter High.

Lee Ziemba: "He was just an amazing person. I think tonight was a testament to the man's character. He did live his life to the fullest. We all have something to learn from him and I am proud to be his friend."

Brandon Mosley: "He was an amazing brother. He will be missed for sure. It's kind of hard to talk about it right now. He was loved, that's for sure."

Wes Byrum: "There are not enough words to say about the guy. He was an amazing person, just an amazing human being. He touched everybody that he came into contact with and made them a better person."

Kodi Burns: "Philip was just a class act. He's a big-time Auburn man. The biggest thing about him is the way he impacted people off the field. He caught touchdowns and made big-time plays, but at the end of the day it's about impacting lives and he did that at such a young age. It was a blessing to be a part of it and being around him."

Will Herring: "I'm seven or eight years older than Lutz, but I looked at him like a younger brother almost, but at the same time I looked up to him and admired him. It had nothing to do with what he did on the field, but the type of person that he was and just the way he handled himself.

"You have never met a more humble, genuine person than Lutz. You couldn't help but fall in love with that. His mom and dad and three sisters, he obviously came from an unbelievable family and that is a testament to them as well."

Nosa Eguae: "He was just an amazing man. You see the impact. Everybody that he ever came in contact with he touched. It's hard to say that about anybody. He just left that lasting impression of love and you felt like that guy cares about me, and he does. He just had a big heart.

"This situation is tough, but we're a family and we stay together as you can see by the former and current players that are here. We're going to stand together and we know that's what he would want us to do. We all know he's in a better place. We're here for his family because his family is our family. At the end of the day that's the case. That's just how we are. We are all family and we're going to love them up and love them up and get through this together."

The sun sets over Lassiter's stadium

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