Undrafted Lutzenkirchen, Bates Going to Rams

Philip Lutzenkirchen, who was a major contributor at tight end for the Auburn Tigers, has sign a free agent deal with the St. Louis Rams, a team also giving safety Daren Bates a shot to make it in the NFL.

Auburn, Ala.-- Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, who was not selected through three days of the National Football League Draft, quickly signed a free agent deal with the St. Louis Rams, who are also giving his teammate, safety Daren Bates, a chance to make the roster as a free agent.

Bates led the Tigers in tackles the past two seasons as an outside linebacker after earning Freshman All-SEC honors in 2009 as a safety, the position he could get a look at in the NFL.

Bates made 39 solo tackles with 55 assists for the 2012 Tigers with two sacks, one interception and two fumble recoveries, one which he returned for a touchdown. He broke up three passes and had four quarterback pressures.

The Rams currently have five tight ends on the roster, including former South Carolina standout Jared Cook. It could be a great fit for Lutzenkirchen as Rams' Coach Jeff Fisher knows plenty about the former Auburn standout with his son Trent on the Tigers' roster at safety, which could also be a plus for Bates.

Philip Lutzenkirchen

Worth Noting About Lutzenkirchen: He holds the Auburn record for most touchdown catches by a tight end in a season with seven and a career with 14. His 59 career catches are the second most for an Auburn tight end, four off the record set by Cooper Wallace from 2002-5. Lutzenkirchen's 628 receiving yards is the third most for an AU tight end. Off the field he was heavily involved in service projects while at Auburn and he also was named to the Academic All-SEC Team.

2012: Playing in just six games prior to being injured and lost for the season with a hip injury, Lutzenkirchen caught 15 passes for 139 yards as a senior. He was selected to the SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC First Team last summer.

Philip Lutzenkirchen contributed during all four of his seasons at Auburn.

2011: Lutzenkirchen played in 12 of the Tigers' 13 games with 11 starts as a junior. A second team All-SEC selection, he caught 24 passes for 238 yards and seven touchdowns.

2010: Lutzenkirchen started five games during Auburn's unbeaten, national championship season and contributed with five touchdown receptions. He caught 15 passes for 185 yards as a sophomore.

2009: Lutzenkirchen played in 13 games as a true freshman with one start. He caught five passes for 66 yards and scored two touchdowns.

High School: Rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com at Lassiter High in Marietta, Ga., he committed to Coach Tommy Tuberville's Auburn coaching staff in May 2008, picking the Tigers over Clemson,, Stanford, Florida State, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and others. He considered other colleges after Gene Chizik took over as head coach, but decided to stay with his commitment to Auburn.

Daren Bates makes a tackle in Auburn's 2012 game vs. Clemson at the Georgia Dome.

Worth Noting About Bates: He played in 49 games for the Tigers and made 316 total tackles as a major contributor for all four seasons. His 47 career starts were a high for players on last season's team. His tackles total is the 12th best in AU history. He played in the Raycom All-Star Game.

2012: Playing weakside linebacker Bates averaged 7.83 tackles per game, which ranked seventh in the SEC. He made 14 stops vs. Clemson.

2011: Bates made 59 solos tackles with 45 assists while starting every game. He was fourth in the SEC at 8.0 tackles per contest.

2010: He started nine times and played in 12 of the 14 games for the unbeaten, national champs. Bates finished the season with 31 solo tackles and 17 assists.

2009: He made an interception in his first college game vs. Louisiana Tech. He started all 13 games as a true freshman and made 46 solo tackles with 24 assists.

High School: He made 90 tackles as a senior at Olive Branch, Miss., High and rushed for close to 900 yards that season. He was also played basketball at Olive Branch.


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