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RPI Grad signs Pro Football contract

Troy, NY- Former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athlete Philip Lanieri III ’16 recently signed a professional football contract with the Marburg Mercenaries in the German Football League (GFL) 1 South Region.

Lanieri (Port Jefferson, NY / Earl L. Vandermeulen) joins former teammate Andrew Franks ’15 as ex-Engineers who are playing at the professional level. Franks is in his second season as the kicker of the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. Additionally, Matt Patricia ’96, a former offensive lineman and assistant coach at RPI, is the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.

“Not only is this a stepping stone in the right direction for my football career, but it is also an awesome opportunity to see parts of the world I would not have had the chance to without this sport,” said Lanieri, a former All-America cornerback with the Engineers who reports to Marburg to compete in Germany’s premier league in March.

A three-year starter for the Engineers, Lanieri was named All-America by the American Football Coaches Association as well as the Associated Press following his senior season in which had a team-high five interceptions with 19 return yards, while also breaking up nine passes in 11 games. He had 42 tackles, including 23 unassisted and 2.0 for lost yards (3), collecting multiple tackles in 10 games and at least one interception in four contests. He helped the Engineers to a 9-2 record, first place in the Liberty League standings with a 6-1 mark and a victory in the ECAC’s Asa S. Bushnell Championship Bowl.

Lanieri was third in the Liberty League in interceptions per game (0.45) and fourth in passes defended (1.27 per game) and was the Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week once. He was selected to the All-Liberty League First Team before being chosen to play in the National Bowl in Miami, Florida. He later participated in an NFL Regional/Super Regional Combine in Baltimore, registering the highest vertical jump (40 inches) at the defensive session while performing other tests and drills in front of representatives from numerous organizations.

As a junior in 2014, Lanieri had six interceptions with 25 return yards and seven pass breakups while starting all 11 games. He made 28 tackles with 19 solo and one for lost yards. He also forced a fumble and recovered another, which he returned 64 yards for a touchdown. He was All-Liberty League First Team and the team’s Defensive Ultimate Grinder Award winner. The year prior, Lanieri was All-League Honorable Mention after recording 44 tackles (29 unassisted) and a team-best four interceptions (4 return yards) with three pass breakups in 10 games.

-Kevin Beattie(Associate Athletic Director for Communications & Compliance/RPI)

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