Being an athlete does not fall far from the tree in the Lutz family. Cooper Lutz, running back for the Orange, is one of the many Lutz siblings who have played collegiate sports.
Cooper’s oldest brother was a Division III decathlete and his second oldest brother, Issac Lutz, recently finished up his fifth year at Penn State playing wide receiver.
The competition between who’s the better football player was paramount in the Lutz household. However, Cooper admires his brother Issac not only as a brother but as an athlete.
“I’d like to be confident and say I’m the better football player but I’ve always chased to be like him,” Lutz said.
Lutz brings the family mentality to football through his teammates. The chemistry between Lutz and the offensive line is evident in his rooming situation. Lutz rooms with center Carlos Vettorello, who started 12 games last year.
“If something doesn’t go right on a play, I’m always in his ear about stuff like that,” Lutz said.
A running backs best friend is the massive group of men who control the line of scrimmage in front of him and Lutz is grateful for them each day.
Depth in the running back room will not be an issue for Syracuse this year. The Orange have four experienced backs who are not only competing for the starting job but mutually want to see the offense be productive.
Throughout his career at Syracuse, Lutz has appeared in 10 games, both at running back and on special teams. Lutz has a total of 43 rushes for 246 yards rushing, and a touchdown. As well as, eight receptions for 56 yards. Last year, Lutz was one of the two players to rush for more than 100 yards in a game against Notre Dame.
Although Lutz is having success at the running back position, he was originally recruited as a slot receiver. The transition from slot to running back was fruitful in allowing Lutz to display more of his ball skills.
“I catch the ball like a receiver,” Lutz said. “Not all running backs have the experience doing that.”
Lutz ability to run routes, along with his natural ball skills will play an integral role this season. Dissecting pre snap reads as a slot is completely different from the box.
“You have to see the entire defense rather than just seeing the secondary,” Lutz said.
The shifty one cut back will not be wearing the ugly elbow brace covered by a white sleeve this season. The fluke of an injury happened the Wednesday before Notre Dame in which Lutz rushed for 114 yards on seven carries, and scored his first collegiate touchdown.
Lutz is not only looking forward to playing a pivotal role this season but as well as returning classes.
“I haven’t been to an in person class in what seems like two and a half years,” Lutz said. “It will be exciting getting back on campus and seeing everybody.”
His biggest goal is to help the Orange win games. The offense did not see much success last year however Lutz plans on changing that this year.