Philip Lutzenkirchen has been where every current Auburn commit is at this moment.
Lutzenkirchen committed to Auburn in May of 2008 and was rolling along to signing day until then coach Tommy Tuberville resigned after the 2008 season. Suddenly, his future with Auburn that appeared locked in, seemed in limbo.
He visited Alabama and Georgia in the days after Tuberville's departure. Then Gene Chizik was hired and quickly visited Lutzenkrichen's home. Lutzenkirchen followed that in-home visit with a visit to the Plains, where he swiftly declared afterwards he was sold on the Tigers' new head man and was sticking with his original commitment to Auburn.
He signed with Auburn in 2009, and will leave his time in Auburn as the schools most prolific touchdown catching tight-end and one of the most beloved players in Auburn history.
So just one day after Chizik's dismissal from Auburn, Lutzenkirchen reached out to AuburnSports.com with a message for the current Auburn pledges.
Call it sage advice from someone who has experienced all the feelings and emotions they are currently working through.
"I love and will miss Coach Chizik as much as anyone. He is a strong Christian and will be just fine. I hate to see him not in Auburn, but our program must move on and progress to win another championship. Coach Chizik always said, 'Auburn is bigger than any one single individual. Auburn will be great regardless of who is playing or coaching'," he said.
"To the commits, don't make any drastic decisions about your future. I went through the same thing my senior year when 'Tubs' was relieved. Make sure you commit to a school and not a coach. Coaches will always be coming and going in your four years of college."
Early reaction from Auburn commits has been relatively positive, as most have said publicly they will remain committed with a close eye on who Auburn hires as the next head coach.
Auburn's ability to hold onto their recruiting class was bolstered on Sunday night, as assistant and recruiting ace Trooper Taylor, given the choice to remain or leave, chose to stay and work to solidify the Tigers' class.
In the end, Lutzenkirchen's message is one of patience and confidence in the Auburn program he stuck with just four short years ago.
"If you love Auburn for the school and people, please just be patient and see who is brought to lead our program," Lutzenkirchen said. "They will bring in the right person(s) for Auburn University. No one asked me to say any of this. I just want to help you recruits who are confused and worried about your future. Auburn will remain Auburn and that is what is important. War Damn Eagle and God Bless."
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