Surely, by now, you’re familiar with the Aguayo kicking dynasty. If not, let me give you the Spark Notes.
Roberto, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, shined during his Florida State career to such an extent that he was a second-round NFL draft selection — quite extraordinary for a kicker. Auburn fans might remember him for his 35-yard and 41-yard field goals in the national championship three seasons ago. His younger brother, Ricky, stole the show in the Seminoles’ come-from-behind Week 1 win against Ole Miss with his 6-for-6 performance. He’s already made four field goals of 40 yards or more, with zero misses from anywhere.
So, yeah. That should give you an idea of the current kings of the kicking hierarchy. The Carlsons — Daniel and Anders — might the only threat to their throne.
“My opinion, and I’m not a pro scout, but we’re going to see both these kids play on Sundays,” said David Bervig, who coached both Carlsons at The Classical Academy.
Bervig coached Daniel Carlson as a senior. He’s spent the past three seasons with Anders Carlson, the heir apparent to his brother’s Auburn kicking post.
So, as someone who witnessed both on the high school level, Bervig knows as well as anyone what the Tigers will get when Anders finishes up his high school career and arrives on the Plains. They’ll be getting a potential future pro — and a potential future challenger to his brother’s record-setting career.
“I’m probably a little biased toward Anders, just because I’ve had more time with him,” Bervig said. “I think at this point in their career, I feel like Anders has a little more leg. Not a lot more, maybe a minuscule (amount) more.”
Daniel recently became Auburn’s all-time record holder for makes beyond 50 yards. He’s only a junior, and there are plenty of other records Daniel can contend for before his time is up at Auburn (assuming he doesn’t take the uncommon early-entry approach).
If he wants to keep them, he better set the bar high for his brother. His chart-topping numbers at The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., already are disappearing.
Anders already has two made field goals from 52 yards. Bervig said one of those, in his mind, should’ve classified as a 53-yard make. Either way, those two field goals are the longest made in school history.
Daniel, per the school’s official record chart, never made a kick longer than 38 yards. Bervig doesn’t think that’s accurate; he seems to remember Daniel making a 48-yarder. Anders recalls his brother kicking a 50-yard field goal.
Regardless, Anders eclipsed that.
“In high school, we’re competing for records right now. I’ve got the longest field goal in my school at 52,” Anders said. “We’ll see if I can get higher than that hopefully this season.”
Daniel made a 58-yard attempt against Louisville in 2015, which might give Anders something to shoot for. He’s already tried beyond that.
Earlier this high school season, Anders narrowly sent a 61-yard attempt left, but he had plenty of leg. It came in a game that he nailed a 48-yarder and two more chip shots. In practice, Bervig said, Anders is “hitting 65-yarders regularly, all the time.”
Daniel did the same during his high school days and said during fall camp he was confident in a game setting “from 60 and in.”
If Anders already is pushing his brother’s distance, he’s excited to see what he can do when he gets in Auburn’s weight program.
“The weight program, all that stuff, is really good down here,” Anders said. “He came in skinny like me, 190. He’s bumped up to 215 now. Obviously that’s going to help a lot.”
That’s something noticeable about the Carlsons: They aren’t your average kickers.
“These aren’t your regular dorky kickers. These are legit athletes,” Bervig said.
Both grew up in the soccer ranks. If not for their fruitful kicking careers, Daniel and Anders — both 6-foot-4 — could’ve played wide receiver or outside linebacker for The Classical Academy, Bervig said.
Daniel showed a brief flash of that Saturday, when he grabbed a fake field goal flipped over the head of Auburn holder Tyler Stovall and ran it into the end zone uncontested for a 20-yard touchdown. Daniel joked earlier this week that it was the “only time I’ve ever touched (the ball) with my hands,” aside from a punt, in a high school or college game.
When Bervig saw the Daniel fake, he wanted to implement it immediately into the playbook for Anders. Chris Coughlin, TCA special teams coach and the Carlson brothers’ kicking instructor, wasn’t having it.
“As soon as I saw that, I texted our special teams coach. I text him and say, ‘Hey, I want to install the Daniel fake,’” Bervig said. “He says, ‘Absolutely not. Anders still has to get to college. We’re not going to put him in a spot that he’s going to get hurt.’ So Anders never asked. I was the first one that said, man, we could do that.”
With Anders’ athletic ability, Bervig doesn’t have a doubt it would work, especially given the way opposing teams mass block on Anders’ long attempts. But it looks like Anders will have to wait and hope the Auburn coaching staff wants to implement a similar level of trickery as it did with his brother.
It’s not just with field goals that Daniel and Anders drop jaws, however.
Daniel boots kickoffs through the end zone without exception. Last week, he even launched one past the out-of-bounds chalk beyond the end zone. There were times during Daniel’s career — and Bervig has adopted a similar policy with Anders — where he’d try a 60-plus-yard attempt simply because putting it in the end zone resulted in a touchback. A miss didn’t matter; it was as good as a punt.
Earlier this season, Anders caught the attention of a referee so amazed by a kickoff he felt the need to immediately run over and say something to The Classical Academy coach.
“I didn’t even know it, and the sideline judge comes right over to me and goes, ‘That just hit the scoreboard,’” Bervig said. “I mean, he’s really flying them through the uprights.”
So look out Aguayos: There’s a new kicking family on the block.
Solid lineup of visitors for Texas A&M
The Plains will welcome another star-studded guest list for the SEC opener.
After big showings for Clemson and Arkansas State, the Tigers will be in for another major recruiting weekend with the Aggies on deck. Here’s a look at some of the expected visitors. As always, this list likely will change, with additions or subtractions.
- 4-star Auburn OL commit Nick Brahms, Navarre (Fla.)
- 4-star DE target Ryan Johnson, Mobile (Ala.)
- 3-star 2018 LB target Jacquez Jones, Hillcrest (Ala.)
- 5-star Alabama OL commit Alex Leatherwood, Pensacola (Fla.)
- 4-star 2018 safety target Myles Mason, Pleasant Grove (Ala.)
- Unranked 2019 athlete target Jalyn Phillips, Archer (Ga.)
- 3-star safety commit Jordyn Peters, Muscle Shoals (Ala.)
- 4-star 2018 WR target Justyn Ross, Phenix City (Ala.)
- 3-star CB target Shawn Shamburger, Colquitt County (Ga.)
- 4-star 2018 linebacker target Quay Walker, Crisp County (Ga.)
- 3-star LB commit Chandler Wooten, North Cobb (Ga.)