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2012 CFN All-America 3rd Team Offense
Auburn TE Philip Lutzenkirchen
Auburn TE Philip Lutzenkirchen
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jun 11, 2012


The best and the brightest offensive stars going into the season.


Preview 2012

3rd Team All-America Offense


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- 2012 CFN All-America Teams
1st Team Offense | 2nd Team Offense | 3rd Team Offense | Special Teamers

Note: This isn't a ranking of the top pro prospects. This is based on the seasons we think the players are going to have.

QUARTERBACK
 
Tyler Wilson, Sr. Arkansas

So who missed Ryan Mallett? He left early for the NFL after throwing for 3,869 yards and 32 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, but Wilson was every bit as strong completing 63% of his passes for 3,638 yards with 24 touchdown and six picks. Far more careful with the ball than Mallett and without the same sort of gunslinger – in a bad way – mentality, he didn’t throw more than one pick in any one game and was ultra-steady throughout the year. His two mediocre games came against Alabama and LSU, but everyone had mediocre games against Alabama and LSU. Everything else worked out well with 510 yards and three scores against Texas A&M, 250 yards or more in seven of the 13 games and two touchdowns or more in nine games.

No, he doesn’t have Mallett’s jaw-dropping arm, but he’s 6-3 and 220 pounds with an NFL gun and the right mentality to be the team’s leader and steadying force. An Arkansas high school superstar, he won three state titles and threw for close to 4,000 yards and 42 touchdowns as a senior. The prep résumé is great, but that’s in the distant past now. He could’ve been a first round NFL draft pick had he left early, but if everything goes according to plan, he should be a top ten selection if he can have another excellent season.

RUNNING BACKS

Robbie Rouse, Sr. Fresno State
In 2010, Rouse was the best running back in college football for a four-game stretch with 769 yards and seven scores turning a dominant stretch. He slowed down late, but he came back roaring in 2011 rushing for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Also a receiver, he caught 32 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown as a key outlet target. At 5-7 and 185 pounds he’s not all that big, but he runs with power and terrific speed through the hole. Ultra-quick, he’s a home-run hitter who’s a threat to do something big every time he touches the ball.

John White, Sr. Utah
It’s hard to imagine that at this time last year, Utah was a little unsure of who’d pick up the slack following the graduations Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide. It turns out that the 5-8, 186-pound White, a transfer from Los Angeles Harbor College, was the answer all along. He debuted in spectacular fashion, snapping the school’s single-season rushing record with 1,519 yards and 15 touchdowns on 316 workmanlike carries. Despite his modest frame, he was shockingly physical and durable, using quick feet, a low center of gravity and outstanding balance to gobble up yards in bunches. With a little more help from the passing game, White will be even harder to contain in his senior year.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Tavon Austin, Jr. West Virginia
The hope was that Austin could turn things up a notch last year after catching 58 passes for 787 yards and eight scores in 2010, and he did making 101 grabs for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns with four games with double-digit catches. Great all season, he saved some of his best performances for the biggest games catching 11 passes for 187 yards against LSU and ripping up Clemson for 12 catches for 123 yards and four scores. With track speed, terrific athleticism, and the running ability to finish third on the team with 182 rushing yards and a score, he’s a great all-around playmaker who holds up well at just 5-9 and 174 pounds. He’s also an elite, All-America caliber return man averaging 14.1 yards per punt return and 26.1 yards per kickoff. Geno Smith might be the star of the West Virginia offensive show, but Austin will help him shine and will start getting more national attention on his own.

Terrance Williams, Sr. Baylor
No one liked to mention it last year when Kendall Wright was catching 108 passes for 1,663 yards and 14 touchdowns, but Williams is a more talented receiver. At 6-3 and 205 pounds, the senior has excellent size, great deep speed, and has the type of pro talent to make him a possible first rounder next year. Yes, he was helped by all the attention paid to Wright, but he also did a great job of putting up huge numbers on his own catching 59 passes for 957 yards and 11 scores averaging 16.2 yards per catch with 126 yards and two scores against TCU and with three straight 100-yard days against Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Missouri. Ultra-consistent, he should be more than fine in the No. 1 receiver role, and he knows how to come through in the clutch making the game-winning grab in the final moments to beat Oklahoma.

TIGHT END

Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn

It’s not fair to suggest that Lutzenkirchen can be another Rob Gronkowski, but Lutzenkirchen can become another Rob Gronkowski. The 6-5, 250-pound senior was a superstar recruit who broke the hearts of Georgia and Florida by signing on with the Tigers. Now he has to be the featured target in the attack with prototype hands, size and route running ability. He only caught 15 passes for 185 yards and five touchdowns when Cam Newton was throwing his way, but last year he 24 catches for 238 yards and seven scores. Great around the goal line, he has the 4.7 speed and ability to stretch the field more.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
regardless of position

Braden Brown, Sr. BYU
The 6-6, 301-pound right tackle hasn’t received a whole bunch of credit and recognition after playing in the shadow of former star tackle Matt Reynolds, but now it’s his turn to shine. With good size, a great frame and excellent feet, he’s a strong pass protector with next-level athleticism. He came to BYU as a 6-6, 250-pound tight end type of blocker, and then he filled out his frame and it’s all coming together. UCLA, Oregon and others in the former Pac-10 wanted him, but he has been terrific for BYU and should be a key part to a strong attack.

Chris Faulk, Jr. LSU
The 6-6, 325-pound Faulk earned second-team All-SEC honors after starting 12 times at left tackle and turning into a dominator. A brutish run blocker, he’ll put his man into the second row and seems to get stronger and more effective as the game went on. The former right tackle could move sides if needed, but he’s growing into too good and too important at left tackle to move around. The former Parade All-American is blossoming into a superstar.

Gabe Ikard, Jr. Oklahoma
The 6-4, 295-pound junior isn’t a big, bulky guard, but he’s athletic, quick, and very, very technically sound. He started the final 12 games of 2011 and took over the reins last year earning first team All-Big 12 honors showing his versatility moving from guard to center for a long stretch when Ben Habern went down. Now he’ll be a full-time guard who’s great in pass protection. While he’s not a blaster of a run blocker, the former tight end prospect gets the job done with his quickness.

Tyler Larsen, Jr. Utah State
If Larsen isn’t the best center in America, he’s in the mix. The 6-4, 308-pound junior is a technician in the middle with a blasting style and enough quickness to make things happen on the move. A starter from his freshman season, he has next level potential both as a guard and as a center, but he’s a special college quarterback for the line. He destroyed the Auburn defensive interior in the opener and he didn’t slow down from there.

Chance Warmack, Sr. Alabama
At 6-3 and 320 pounds the senior is a big blocker who has been one of the mainstays of the O line for the last two seasons. With the nearly impossible task of taking over for Mike Johnson two year ago, he proved he could do more than just hold his own and then last season he turned into even more of a dominant run blocker who grew into his vast potential. While he was a good recruit, he wasn’t the typical elite of the elite pickup like Alabama usually gets. Now he has worked his way into a terrific pro prospect with a sensational future. Going into his senior season he has turned into dominator with freakish strength and a great motor.

- 2012 CFN All-America Teams
1st Team Offense | 2nd Team Offense | 3rd Team Offense | Special Teamers