The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 6, 2012

Auburn's Lutzenkirchen reduced to cheerleader role

(Continued)

"He'll always be remembered for certain catches that he made and some spectacular ones at that, and some that his timing was impeccable as in the Iron Bowl two years ago," Tigers coach Gene Chizik said. "His blocking and everything he's brought to the table other than the things that you even visibly see him do as a player.

"What he's like in the locker room, what he's like in encouraging young guys ... He's just always been one of those guys. And that's why I think most of our guys on our team have a very high level of regard. It's because he's just a different guy.

The Tigers will also likely be without tight end C.J. Uzomah (right hand) for this game. Uzomah had 90 receiving yards against Texas A&M, while Brandon Fulse is used as a blocker and doesn't have a reception and Blake Burgess is a former walk-on who caught his first career pass against New Mexico State.

Lutzenkirchen has been missed in an offense where he and receiver Emory Blake have accounted for 54 of the team's 117 catches.

He said an injection before the LSU game didn't help and by the Mississippi game two weeks later "I just knew something wasn't right."

A Birmingham doctor advised Lutzenkirchen to go ahead and have the surgery, which he said typically has a three-month recovery time.

Lutzenkirchen said he'll start running and walking on an underwater treadmill soon and hopes to be jogging within a couple of months

Lutzenkirchen said the hip problem first bothered him in fall camp before last season

"It's just really frustrating as a player, because you never want to admit that something like that is hindering you and making you not play to your full potential," he said. "I just realized that C.J. and Brandon could probably do a lot better than I was doing at that point in the season.

"I think that showed with C.J. having a big game and Brandon blocking really well. And (Blake) Burgess has been catching the ball too. I knew it was best for me and best for the team."

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