Going into Auburn's New Year's Day Bowl game vs. Northwestern, Bates is third on the team in total tackles with 63 stops. He has 40 solo tackles.
In addition, the freshman from Olive Branch, Miss., High, intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and had 2 1/2 tackles for 19 yards in losses.
A series of injuries to Auburn's safeties, including season-enders to starter Mike McNeil and former starter Aaron Savage, plus more injuries to backups gave Bates an opportunity to be an immediate contributor.
Bates was the only Auburn freshman on the all-star team this season. He keeps alive a streak of Auburn defensive backs represented on the team with cornerback Jerraud Powers honored in 2006, safety Zac Etheridge in 2007 and cornerback Neiko Thorpe named to the team last season.
Bates and his teammates will take on Northwestern in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at 10 a.m. CST on Jan. 1. The Tigers are expected to begin bowl practices on Saturday.