AUBURN, Ala. — Daniel Carlson already owns a dozen of Auburn football’s kicking records. But the milestone he reached Saturday in the annual A-Day spring game was one never reached by any Tiger — regardless of position.
When Carlson won Auburn’s special teams MVP award Saturday afternoon, he became the first player in program history to win four straight spring game honors. The senior from Colorado hit all 4 of his field goal attempts, including a 55-yarder, and 3 extra-point attempts to take home the hardware yet again.
“It’s been fun, the four years of A-Day,” Carlson said. “It seems like forever ago since I was here for my first one. Lot more nervous. But I had a lot of fun today. It was fun to be in front of a crowd again.”
Carlson, a two-time Groza Award finalist, enters his fourth year as Auburn’s starting kicker in 2017. He has a perfect chance to break the Tigers’ all-time individual scoring record this fall, and he hasn’t missed a single PAT in his career.
The fourth spring game gave Carlson a chance to kick with fans watching for the last time until Auburn’s season opener against Georgia Southern in September.
“That’s the main thing — having a good day,” Carlson said. “It’s fun to do this in front of a crowd. It is the most pressure we get during the spring, really, besides being in front of the coaches and in front of the team. It’s an opportunity to go out in our stadium and treat it as much as we can like a game.”
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn wanted Carlson to feel more pressure, though, on A-Day. Malzahn closed the first half by getting his entire team to make a lane around the kicker as he attempted a 60-yard field goal.
Carlson missed the halftime attempt. However, Malzahn gave him another chance at the end of the game. As his teammates yelled and waved their arms, Carlson comfortably drilled the 60-yarder.
“Daniel Carlson, once again, showed why he’s the best kicker in college football,” Malzahn said. “That last one I think would’ve been good for another five yards.”
Carlson, who took over punt duties Saturday because of the absence of sophomore Ian Shannon (death in the family), couldn’t take all the credit for his four-peat Saturday.
Holder Tyler Stovall and long snapper Ike Powell are also senior returning starters. Carlson said their three-way connection makes things a lot easier as he looks to end his Auburn career with some more trophies.
“It’s like a pitcher and catcher,” Carlson said. “We all know each other. We know what we like, what we don’t like. Just to have that rhythm from the last three or four years is huge. I’m excited about this year. We’ve done it a million times by now. We’ll hopefully continue to do what we’ve been working on.”