Posted by Chip Patterson
With Michael Dyer's plans to transfer and Gus Malzahn accepting the head coaching job at Arkansas State, Auburn fans are not quite sure what the Tigers' offense will have in store for 2012. But at least one very important piece from that unit will be back, with tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen announcing his plans to forego the NFL Draft and return for his senior season.
“I’m excited to be coming back to Auburn for my senior season and help us work towards our goal we set every year, which is playing in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta,” Lutzenkirchen said. “It was an easy decision to make and finishing 2011 with a win in the Chick-fil-A Bowl will be huge in helping us prepare for 2012.”
The junior tight end caught 24 passes for 238 yards and a team-high seven touchdown passes in 2011, including a game-winning score against South Carolina. After earning second-team All-SEC honors and being named the team's Offensive MVP, Lutzenkirchen requested an evaluation from the NFL Draft board.
In addition to being a reliable red zone threat, Lutzenkirchen will be counted on as one of the leaders of this transitioning Auburn team in 2012. The coaching staff shakeup this offseason will present some continuity challenges moving forward, and the fan-favorite tight end will need to put his experience and notoriety to good use to help the Tigers compete in the SEC West.
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