Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen can tell the story of when his popularity grew amongst Tiger fans. Reminiscing on scoring the game-winning touchdown for the 28-27 victory against the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2010 after being down 24-0, the senior says he flailed his legs and the next day there way a video on YouTube.
Lutzenkirchen was everywhere. He had become the new Cam Newton–minus the Heisman Trophy, of course–to a group of fans that could not get enough of him. He was at basketball games talking to fans. He was “secretively” followed by students between classes. He was the new big man on campus.
And yet … it appears that 2012 will be even bigger for the tight end.
With a 6-5, 255-pound frame, great hands and the ability to make clutch plays, “the Honey Bear” has been silently screaming for the ball for year. With former coordinator Gus Malzahn now the head coach at Arkansas State and Loeffler calling plays, it appears appears Lutzenkirchen’s wish was granted.
Loeffler’s pro-style offensive scheme was one major factor that helped Temple‘s football program leave the bottom of the pit. Perfecting the run game last season, the Owls leading rusher recorded 1,481 yards last season, close to 200 more than then Auburn-tailback Michael Dyer.
Who was the leading receiver on that same Temple team? A tight end.
Recording 479 yards and two touchdowns, Evan Rodriguez’s 35 receptions was 16 more than the next total.
Considering Loeffler’s appreciate of a big, hands-on tight end, will Lutzenkirchen have his name in the record books? Actually, how many records will be broken?
Already ranking first in touchdowns by a tight end in Auburn history with 14, Lutzenkirchen also holds the Tigers’ single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end with seven.
While Auburn lacks experience at most offensive positions, the veteran Luztenkirchen is playing with a swagger than Auburn has never seen before.