By Charles Goldberg
ATLANTA -- Daniel Carlson took it all in stride again, just like when he kicks field goals long and true. That's why the Auburn kicker and finalist for one of college football's top honors sent out a hopeful tweet after he saw Arizona State's Zane Gonzalez win the Lou Groza Award at the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday night.
"3rd time a charm?"
Carlson walked the red carpet for the second straight season vying for the top kicking award. His good-natured tweet suggested there could be another trip for him to the College Sports Awards Show next year.
"That was a little joke," Carlson said of the tweet, "but maybe I can come back and have another good season next year and help the team however I can.
"It's been fun to be part of this twice. Next year I can try to come back."
Gonzalez holds six NCAA career kicking records. He won the award over Carlson and Younghoe Koo of Georgia Southern.
Carlson said he appreciated the chance to attend the ceremony with his family for the second straight season.
"It was another awesome night," Carlson said. "Obviously, I didn't win it, but congratulations go to Zane Gonzalez. He obviously had a great year. I'm excited for him.
"I'll have to come back next year and try to win it. It's fun to be part of this, this celebration of a lot of hard work and dedication put in by a lot of athletes."
Carlson's next stop in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 when Auburn will play Oklahoma. He'll go there as the SEC's leading scorer. He also leads the league with 26 field goals, and even scored a touchdown on a fake field. He kicked six field goals in Auburn's 18-13 win over LSU. That tied an SEC record.
The junior attended the Lou Groza Award banquet in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Monday before winning the award Thursday.
It's still been a productive awards season for Carlson. He was named the SEC's special teams player of the year Wednesday in a vote of the league coaches. He was also named to the coaches and the Associated Press All-SEC first teams. He was named to the Walter Camp All-American team on Thursday when he earned second-team honors.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine
Auburn's Daniel Carlson's on the red carpet for the College Football Awards Show. It's at 6 p.m., Auburn time, on ESPN pic.twitter.com/tHuSYJlyiw
-- Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) December 8, 2016