football

Spring Preview: Tight Ends

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TherewillbebattlesforstartingjobsatmanypositionsthisspringatAuburn,buttightendwon'tbeoneofthem.
PhilipLutzenkirchenreturnsforhisseniorseasonalreadyholdingtheschool'scareertouchdownreceptionsrecordbyatightendwith14.
"I'mveryexcitedabout'Lutz',"tightendscoachJayBoulwaresaid."He'sasenior.I'vehadhimsincehewasapuppy,atruefreshman,andhehasdevelopednicely.Hereallyhas."
InthreeseasonsatAuburn,Lutzenkirchenhas44receptionsfor489yardsandthe14scores.Asajuniorin2011,hewasnamedsecond-teamAll-SECaftercatching24passesfor238yardsandateam-highseventouchdowns.His24receptionswerethird-highestontheteam.
Butcatchingthefootballisn'ttheonlythingLutzenkirchendoeswell.
"Everyoneknowshehasgreathands,butI'vebeenreallyimpressedwithhisdevelopmentasablockingtightend,"saidBoulware."He'sareallygoodblockernowatthepointofattack.
"Thethingthathehashadsincehe'sbeenhereisgreathands,butwhathehasworkedhardatisreallybecomingagreatblocker.Hehastakenprideinbecomingagreatblocker.Wefeellikewecanmatchhimupwithanydefensiveendintheleagueandhecanhandlethem.That'sbigforus."
BehindLutzenkirchenwillbeapairofsophomoresinBrandonFulseandC.J.Uzomah.JuniorBlakeBurgess,whocompetedforthestartingjobatcenterayearago,hasmadethemovetotightendtogivetheTigersmoredepth.
Fulseplayedasatruefreshmanin2011,appearinginall13gamesandcatchingtwopassesfor12yards.Uzomahalsoplayedasatruefreshmanlastseason,butallbutoneofhisgamerepscameatthewidereceiverposition.
"Fulseneedstodevelopasabetterreceiverthisspring,"saidBoulware."It'snotasnaturalforhimlikeitwasfor'Lutz',butIhopehedevelopsatitandbecomesagreatreceiverforusthisspringbecausewewillneedhim.
"Uzomahplayedwideoutlastyearsothiswillbeanewpositionforhimthisspring.I'mcurioustoseehowhedevelops.Theonlyconcernwithhimisseeinghowhedevelops,especiallyatblockingsincehehasnotworkedwiththetightends,yet."
HavingtheexperienceofLutzenkirchen,thepotentialofFulseandUzomah,aswellasmoredepthwithBurgess,givesBoulwarereasontobeexcitedaboutthepositionin2012.Healsohas2012signeesRickyParksandDarrionHutchersonscheduledtoarriveinthesummer.
"I'mexcitedaboutalloftheguys,"saidBoulware."I'mexcitedabouthaving'Lutz'back,notonlybecausehe'ssuchagreatplayer,butagreatleaderandteacher,too.Itwillbegoodforushavingthoseyoungguysseehimandhisworkethicforanotheryear.
"I'mreallyexcitedabouttheposition,notonlythisyear,butforyearstocome."
AuburnbeginsspringpracticeFridayat8:30a.m.CST.
Auburn'sTEDepthChart
PhilipLutzenkirchen,Senior
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BrandonFulseClickHeretoviewthisLink.,Sophomore
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C.J.Uzomah,Sophomore
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Auburn's2012TESignees
RickyParks,Freshman
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Darrion HutchersonClick Here to view this Link., Freshman
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