SDSU Free Agents Searching for Teams

Times Staff Writer

Since tight end Robert Awalt was the only San Diego State player selected in Tuesday’s NFL draft, Wednesday was a busy day for some of his 1986 teammates. Unlike Awalt, a third-round selection of the St. Louis Cardinals, numerous Aztecs were hoping to catch on as free agents.

Three players reached oral agreements Wednesday with NFL teams: safety Steve Lauter with the Chargers, offensive lineman Doug Aronson with Cincinnati and offensive lineman Mike Ariey with the New York Giants. Three others attended an informal workout session Wednesday with the Rams: running back Chris Hardy and linebackers Richard Brown and Randy Kirk. Defensive lineman Levi Esene said he may sign with British Columbia of the Canadian Football League. The Chargers have said they will offer running back Corey Gilmore a tryout.

“When it got to the later rounds, I didn’t feel like getting drafted,” said Lauter, an all-Western Athletic Conference selection who played in the Senior Bowl. “I wanted to go to the Chargers because I would be on my home field. Another reason I wanted to go the the Chargers is because I hear they need safeties.”

Aronson, twice a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference selection, will fly to Cincinnati Friday for a tryout. According to Aronson, representatives from Cincinnati, Dallas and Washington said he was not drafted because of his inflexible hip, the result of growing too fast. Aronson had hip surgery in eighth grade and could not play sports for two years, but he did not miss a game because of injuries in three years as a starter at SDSU.


Ariey suffered torn knee ligaments in November, causing him to miss the final three regular-season games and the Holiday Bowl.