Lutz finishes accomplished career

The Georgia State Panthers host the Charlotte 49ers during their football game at the Georgia Dome, September 4, 2015, in Atlanta. Photo Submitted by Georgia State Athletics
The Georgia State Panthers host the Charlotte 49ers during their football game at the Georgia Dome, September 4, 2015, in Atlanta.
Photo Submitted by Georgia State Athletics

Senior kicker, punter, kickoff specialist and special team’s ace Wil Lutz is always calm, cool and collected.

That is exactly what a player with the responsibilities that are entrusted to Lutz is required to have to be successful.

Lutz handles kicking field goals and extra points for the Panthers as well as punting and kicking off.

These responsibilities don’t happen every play and don’t get the notoriety that a running back or quarterback may receive for doing good things on the field.

“You accept that you’re not going to be the most looked at. You’re going to do something good, you’re probably won’t get noticed when you’re good, but when you do something bad you’re always going to get noticed. So, it’s something you’ve got to accept and accept your role and kind of take it and be mentally and emotionally strong with it,” Lutz said.

Lutz is clearly a key part to the Panthers team as he has made big kicks for the Panthers in the past in the most important parts of the game.

Lutz hit a 26-yard field goal against Abilene Christian to clinch the Panthers’ win last season. Lutz also hit a game tying 26-yard field goal against Jacksonville State to send the game to overtime in 2013.

These big kicks changed the trajectory of those games but the blame can be equally as big when a kick is missed or a punt is blocked and there are very few opportunities for redemption as a kicker and Lutz is fine with that.

“You have to be so mentally strong in everything you do. Special teams is such a big phase of the game, that if you don’t have a kicker who’s solid, there’s a chance you won’t win the game that you’re in or it could blow a game or win a game,” Lutz said.

Lutz uses his calm, positive and competitive demeanor to his advantage and has rubbed off on his young long snappers sophomore Daniel Zeigler and freshman Seth-Patrick Holman.

“He’s a really hard worker. If he misses a kick he makes sure the next one he corrects. Him being a senior and me being a freshman, he’s kind of taken me under his wing and has done a good job of kind of showing me the ropes,” Holman said.

Holman has taken over the long snapping duties as Zeigler is out with an injury. Both Zeigler and Holman have both grown close to Lutz and have seen Lutz first hand.

“He’s just really positive about everything. He always wants to get better. He’s very competitive. He wants to better than everyone else. He just goes out there every day and he knows he’s the best. He goes out on the field and he just knows he’s the best kicker there is, which is true to me,” Zeigler said.  

Lutz got his start with kicking because of his days of playing soccer. The relationship with his high school soccer coach led to him being convinced to give football a shot.

“I was actually a soccer player my whole life. My brother started kicking when I was a freshman and I just kind of gave it a try,” Lutz said.

Lutz’s soccer coach was also a member of the football coaching staff and convinced him to come out for the football team.

Lutz’s older brother Wes also played a role in sending the younger brother to the football field. Wes was also was a kicker at Northgate high school as well as a soccer player like Lutz.

“My brother was a soccer player too and our soccer coach was actually the kicking coach for the football team. So, he had him come out because he was just close with the soccer coach,” Lutz said

Lutz used the drive to compete with his older brother to drive him to the football fields.

“When I saw him doing it, I always wanted to be better than him in everything he did, so I tried it too,” Lutz said.

While competing with his brother Lutz didn’t know his kicking would take him anywhere at first. He was simply battling against his brother. But his junior season showed him that there were possibilities that came along with his talents.

“I didn’t really like it. I went back out my sophomore year and did it for JV. I really wasn’t into it until my junior year when I started for varsity and realized that I had a chance to go somewhere and it kind of picked up from there,” Lutz said.

The destination was Georgia State where Lutz was a walk-on but has been kicking and running ever since.

Lutz has been a steady presence in the Panthers’ program since his arrival and his statistics say that Lutz is the Panthers’ best kicker in the history of the program as he leads in most points scored by kicking, field goals made and extra points.

Lutz will continue his versatility for the second half of 2015 and will potentially draw interest from an NFL team in the coming seasons.

1 Comment

  1. Way to go Will! Congrats on your success and I will be looking for more good things to come. Mrs. Becky

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