By Jeff Shearer
HOOVER, Ala. - Pressure comes in different types. For Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson, there's the pressure that accompanies a 50-yard field goal attempt with the game on the line.
Then there are the butterflies Carlson felt Sunday when he proposed to his girlfriend, Katherine Barker.
"I've been nervous for field goals, but that was pretty nerve-racking," Carlson said Thursday at SEC Media Days.
"I think she was expecting it a little bit," he said. "I told her we were going to dinner with my grandparents. Right when we showed up to the house, we walked around the corner and I laid out some stuff. It was a big ol' surprise for her, I think."
Carlson's fiancé graduated from Auburn University this spring before moving home to Knoxville, Tenn. The couple has not yet announced a wedding date.
"I'll mostly be in Auburn by the time we get married," Carlson said. "Hopefully, if the NFL works out, we'll be shipping off to wherever that leads."
Carlson is no stranger to shipping off.
In middle school, he moved to Sweden, where his father's family still lives. He held dual citizenship in the U.S. and Sweden until he turned 21.
"After about six months, I picked up the language," he said. "I got voted class president of the school. It was an awesome experience. Very glad I was able to do that."
Carlson returned to Sweden this summer for his older brother's wedding.
"Moving in middle school to a different country where you don't speak the language wasn't my favorite idea when I was in middle school, but I'm very grateful my parents were willing to do that and wanted to give us that experience," he said.
Carlson attended high school in Colorado Springs, Colo., becoming the nation's top kicking prospect.
At Auburn, Carlson enters his senior season as a two-time Lou Groza Award finalist, starting 39 games and scoring at least 109 points in each of the past three seasons. In 2016, he connected on a career-high 87.5 percent of his field goal attempts. He has converted all 141 extra point kicks at Auburn.
"It's way better than I could have ever imagined," Carlson said. "The Lord's been blessing me. It's been just a great journey."
For all of his success, Carlson also knows the loneliness that comes with missing a crucial kick at game's end.
"I've had my humbling moments," said Carlson, referencing a missed 45-yard attempt in Auburn's 34-31 Outback Bowl loss as a freshman in 2014. "The first season, the finish of that was a missed field goal in overtime to lose a game. I think I've learned a lot from that.
"Auburn has just been an incredible experience for me. Met my future wife here. Found a great church. I just feel like I've really grown up. Hopefully, I'll keep growing, but I'm proud so far, so hopefully I'll keep that going."
-- Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) July 14, 2017
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @jeff_shearer