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Monday, February 25, 2013

Keys to Success: TE / H-Back

 This is the fourth in a series where we examine each of the positions in the Gus Malzahn offense. In case you forgot, or have been living on another planet that did not have ESPN/CBS/SEC football network coverage, Auburn won a National Championship with Gus Malzahn's offensive genius.

 We have not discussed the complexities of each position, and everything that these players will have to learn. We have examined the numbers of players, and new recruits that will be putting their abilities on the line for the Orange & Blue during the upcoming fall Saturdays. 

 In this post we will examine the Tight End and H-Back positions in this unique offensive style. Let's look at what their primary responsibilities will be, and then introduce you to the young men that will play this position.

 Whether lined up in the backfield or along the line of scrimmage, the main purpose of the position is support the run game. Block down field, or at the point of attack, depending on the play called, and be able to occasionally catch a football. Simple. Be a steamroller with good hands, and adequate route running ability.

 Phillip Lutzenkirchen was the primary guy in the 2010 season. Lutzie averaged 1.3 catches per game over his career at Auburn although he averaged over two per game for his Junior & Senior seasons. His per catch yardage was a hefty 10.6 and he scored 14 TD's in his career. None more popular than the game winning catch against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

 This set off a dance craze among the Auburn family around the globe. Here are a few links to various Lutzie dance vids. Just mash HERE, & HERE, & HERE

 Back to the subject at hand. 

 Returning for the tigers in 2013 will be Brandon Fulse, Chris Landrum, Jay Prosch, Spencer Smith
Ricky Parks, Patrick Young, C.J. Uzomah, and Michael Clifton. Coach Malzahn did not recruit one player to play this position this year. 

 Although the numbers are ideal at Auburn, Coach Malzahn has shown that he will not hesitate to use two or three guys at this position in a ball game. Eric Smith and Blake Burgess both played here along with Lutzenkirchen, under Gus's guidance.  I look for the trend to continue, and Coach Malzahn will more than likely have three main guys in this rotation. 



War Eagle AC-47 said...

All the critics lamenting "what will happen to Jay Prosch now" just don't get it. Prosch's detractors are hung up on the "fullback" label and fail so see how perfectly he will fit in the same role as Lutzenkirchen.

Prosch may not have the same vertical leap as Lutzie, but we've seen him catch on the run last year. I also think he should be considered for short yardage third or fourth downs.

AUTigerBloggin said...