AUBURN, Ala. — How cool is Daniel Carlson? Well, the Auburn kicker broke yet another Wes Byrum school record.
With Carlson’s 33-yard make against Vanderbilt, the junior nailed the 61st field goal of his career, passing Byrum on the school’s all-time list for made field goals. Carlson now holds 11 career, season or game individual program records.
This one is special.
“That one is huge because there’s been so many good kickers here before. It means we’ve been doing our job — the snapper, the holder, the kicker, the whole line,” Carlson said. “It’s just been doing our job consistently over the years. I’ve had a lot of career goals, season goals that I want to accomplish. Obviously that’s one of them. I’ll definitely be enjoying that.”
Byrum sits atop many Auburn kicking categories, but that number is dwindling with every game Carlson takes the field. Only a junior, Carlson has the chance to seize several more Tigers records.
He considers it an honor to challenge someone of Byrum’s caliber.
“I’ve met him before. I don’t know him very well, but obviously I know what he did here,” Carlson said. “He’s an amazing kicker, had an amazing career. It’s awesome to be in the same class as that guy.”
Talking about class, Carlson’s head coach isn’t sure there is anyone in the country up to par with the Auburn junior.
Gus Malzahn has talked highly of Carlson in the past. But after Saturday’s win, he might’ve offered his highest praise to date. Carlson finds himself firmly in the Lou Groza Award conversation again. He was a finalist in 2015 and recently was named one of 20 semifinalists for 2016.
And based on this Malzahn assessment, the final decision on the award should be no contest.
“He’s the best kicker in the country,” Malzahn said, “and it’s not even close.”