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City: Auburn, AL

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Conference: SEC



Alabama recruit Atchison said meeting with Florida is doubtful

5:11 p.m. Sunday, December 7, 2008

Douglass linebacker Jonathan Atchison said that it is doubtful he will meet with Florida assistant coach Charlie Strong. "He hasn't called, so I doubt it is going to happen," the 6-foot-3, 212-pound member of the AJC's The Georgia 150 said late Sunday. However, if Strong shows up at Douglass on Monday, which was the original plan, then Atchison said he would likely hear what Florida had to say. Atchison recently switched his commitment to Alabama from Auburn after the resignation of Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville. Atchison made the change after having a lengthy conversation with Alabama coach Nick Saban. "I spoke with [Saban], and my mom and I felt it was the right thing to do for me," he said. He has an official visit scheduled to Alabama on Jan. 16. Atchison, who had committed to Auburn in August, is the 22nd best linebacker in the nation, according to

Parkview RB Brandon Jacobs considers switching from Auburn to Florida

11:30 a.m. Sunday, December 7, 2008

Parkview running back Brandon Jacobs was caught by surprise by Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville's resignation. Jacobs has been laying low since Auburn's coaching change. The AJC Georgia 150 prospect has committed to the Tigers, but has also received an offer from Florida. "It was pretty shocking to me," Jacobs told the AJC on Saturday night. "He's a great coach; I just wish he could've stayed (at Auburn). It doesn't change my plans, I'm still committed to Auburn (but) I'm opening my options a little." Jacobs also said he is waiting to see who Auburn hires before makes his final decision. "I just want to see who (Auburn) brings in first."

Douglass LB to be visited by Florida coach

8:07 a.m. Friday, December 5, 2008

Will Florida ride a wave of momentum after winning the SEC Championship to land Georgia's top high school school prospects? Douglass linebacker Jonathan Atchison is scheduled to meet with Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong on Monday. Atchison, who is committed to Auburn, said Florida has been recruiting him very hard, and that he expects an offer on Monday. "Coach Strong wants to see me in person, and I'll get the offer," Atchison told the AJC's Phil Giltman. Atchison has scheduled an official visit to Alabama on Jan. 17. He will take his official visit to Auburn on Jan. 10, pending on who is named as the team's coach. Rivals rates Atchison as the No. 22 outside linebacker in the country and No. 64 overall recruit in Georgia.

Lassiter TE turns into one of Southeast's hottest college prospects

11:01 p.m. Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lassiter's Philip Lutzenkirchen has stared coaching legend Bobby Bowden in the eyes. He has rubbed elbows with Urban Meyer before a Florida kickoff. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has picked him up in a golf cart. Those sort of moments have an impact on a person considered one of the hottest recruits in the state of Georgia, right? "He's just Lutz to us," Trojans teammate Camden Wentz said. "He's a goof." Lutzenkirchen, who has been committed to Auburn since May, isn't lacking in praise these days. Scouts will comment on his athleticism, elusiveness after the catch and body control. His parents and his high school coach will praise his maturity and level-headedness. But Lutzenkirchen's greatest quality these days might be remaining normal. When Auburn fired offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, opponents smelled blood in the water. When Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville left the school on Wednesday, Lutzenkirchen became <em>one of the biggest targets for recruiters in the Southeast.</em> Offers have been coming for weeks from all over the country. South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas Tech were quick to jump in the ring. Florida followed in short order. Scholarships from Georgia and Texas should be coming this week, and Clemson is trying to get its foot back in the door. "I just keep getting calls from area codes I've never heard of," Lutzenkirchen said. "It's a little crazy." Through all of the upheaval, Lutzenkirchen, a 6-foot-4, 245 pound tight end, has tried to keep his focus on the right things. "I think Philip was very pleased of how respectful the other schools were when he made his commitment to Auburn," said Mike Lutzenkirchen, his father. "But when you're dealing with a firing, they want to see how committed he is now to going there. More than anything, I think he's enjoyed having the options in front of him." One of those is Florida. Lutzenkirchen has taken two unofficial visits to Gainesville, and the trips have certainly piqued his interest. And how could they not? The Gators are a top-tier program under Meyer, and it doesn't hurt that the Gators actively use the tight end. Florida sophomore tight end Aaron Hernandez has 26 catches this season and five touchdowns. Lutzenkirchen is sold, but just not on everything. <em>"I think there is something about the lifestyle and atmosphere in Gainesville I'm still not comfortable with yet,</em>" Lutzenkirchen said. "They have everything else you could ask for, but I have to be comfortable with where I'm going to school first. That's the most important thing." Lutzenkirchen is not a downfield blocker. He can be, but the beauty of his game is what he can do in space with a ball in his hands. He needs an offense that makes him comfortable. "I haven't been fortunate enough to coach anybody like him," first-year Lassiter coach Chip Lindsey said. "So it was unique and something I put a lot of thought in during the spring and summer about how we could use him." Lindsey certainly found ways. The Trojans, running a spread attack, finished the season 9-3 with their first trip to the playoffs since 2000. Lutzenkirchen finished with 72 catches for 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. Those numbers are nearly double what he produced as a junior. During the season, Lutzenkirchen made more than his fair share of dazzling catches, including one against Centennial that warranted a spot on ESPN. Friends of the family weren't the only ones to catch the play. Several hundred college coaches did, too, including Tuberville. The highlight came up in conversation two weeks later when Lutzenkirchen traveled to Auburn for an official visit. At the time, Tuberville answered a lot of questions and concerns for Lutzenkirchen and his family about his long-term status with the Tigers. After Wednesday, it remains unclear which direction Auburn is taking, and consequently which direction Lutzenkirchen will take. <em>The question now is whether Lutzenkirchen will stick with his commitment. He considered the Tigers his No. 1 team, with Florida a close second. Then it's a pack of newcomers -- the Tar Heels, Gamecocks, Georgia and Texas.</em> Auburn has everything for the Trojans senior, including the atmosphere, the academics and even the perfect feel -- just not the coach. "I've actually been very proud of how Philip has handled himself through this process," Mike Lutzenkirchen said. "It's rewarding for me to see that my son has earned a chance to get a college degree at any number of good schools. Where he ends up, that's up to him. But I think he'll make a good choice eventually." FAST FACTS Some interesting tidbits on Philip Lutzenkirchen: Has taken official visits to Auburn and Florida State. Visited the Gators twice, unofficially. Considering an official visit to North Carolina, Georgia and Texas. Plays football and basketball at Lassiter. Has a close relationship with Auburn tight ends coach Steve Ensminger, who visited his basketball game on Monday. Caught 42 passes as a junior and 72 as a senior in the spread offense for the Trojans.

Auburn: Will UGA or Georgia Tech pursue Lovejoy OL Andre Harris?

10 a.m. Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lovejoy offensive lineman Andre Harris doesn't anticipate that the departure of Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville will affect his commitment to the Tigers. Still, Harris, a member of the AJC's The Georgia 150, will keep his options open until Auburn hires a new coach. Before Wednesday, he had maintained the position that he wasn't considering anyone else, but now says he'll take visits to other schools, though he declined to say which ones. Georgia Tech offered Harris before he committed to the Tigers. "I'll just wait and see who the new head coach is. It's not going to affect my decision. I'll stay an Auburn Tiger until somebody proves ... that there's another school out there that's better for me," he said. Harris talked to Auburn assistant Hugh Nall shortly before Tuberville's resignation was announced, and Nall urged him not to change his mind based on who the coach is. "I've talked to coach Tuberville a few times," said Harris. "I was told a little earlier. When I heard he was leaving, I was a little upset. You're always upset when your head coach leaves. I know people get jealous over one season but I didn't really see that coming too much."

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