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'It makes you feel like a movie star' - Auburn's Daniel Carlson, 3-time Lou Groza Award finalist
Daniel Carlson signs autographs Thursday at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics
Dec. 7, 2017

By Jeff Shearer

ATLANTA - Daniel Carlson exited the College Football Hall of Fame Thursday the same way he entered it, with a big smile on his face.

Accompanied by his parents and his fiancé, Carlson came up short in his bid win the Lou Groza Award, hours after being named a first-team Walter Camp All-American.

The SEC’s career scoring leader with 471 points, Carlson is the only three-time finalist for the award given to college football’s top kicker, which went to Utah’s Matt Gay.

“It’s huge to be recognized as one of the best kickers in the country,” Carlson said. “Obviously, this season wasn’t as good. I had a couple misses here and there, but just happy I could help my team. That’s what it’s all about.”

The holder of 13 Auburn kicking records, Carlson is the all-time SEC leader with 90 field goals and 195 consecutive PATs.

“Individual awards are fun, but that’s just the cherry on top,” said Carlson, whose PAT streak comprises the longest in Auburn history. “Matt had an incredible season. Happy for him and his family for that honor he got.”

Auburn special teams coordinator Tim Horton accompanied Carlson to Atlanta.

“The thing about Daniel, it’s not about one season, it’s about an unbelievable career,” Horton said. “Not just on the field, but what he’s done off the field is probably even more impressive than what he’s done on the field, and he’s a first-team All-American. Just a great Auburn man, a great Auburn family. What a legacy he’s left for Auburn.”

Carlson’s 90 field goals are No. 2 in college football history, trailing only Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez, who made 96 from 2013-16.



Carlson’s 81 percent field goal success rate ranks first in Auburn history, as do his 13 kicks of 50 yards or more.

Before the event, Carlson worked the red carpet like a veteran, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.

“It makes you feel like a movie star,” Carlson said. “It’s not necessarily my scene, but it is fun, and seeing the kids at the front, the pee wee football players, is a lot of fun. It’s fun to see all of the hard work pay off. Being here with the other two kickers has been a blast.”

Carlson will return to Atlanta in three and a half weeks to conclude his Auburn career against UCF at 11:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“I’m excited about finishing the season and my career here at Auburn,” Carlson said. “Get to do it here in Atlanta which is special. It’s close to Auburn so I’m sure we’ll have lots of fans come and cheer for us on our last game. Excited to play one last time with my teammates, best friends and coaches who have poured so much into my life.”

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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