Busy Preseason For Auburn Kicker

Daniel Carlson has been a busy guy this preseason for the Auburn Tigers, taking on punting duties in addition to his role as a kicker.

Auburn, Ala.--It is a busy time in the life of Auburn redshirt freshman Daniel Carlson. Not only is he trying to win the starting job as the Tigers’ kicker on extra-points and field goals as well handling the kickoff duties, he is also working to earn the punting job as well.

That is a lot to put on his plate, but so far Carlson said it hasn’t been too bad for him juggling all his duties.

“Camp has been good,” Carlson said. “I've been working on field goal, kickoff and also some punt, which I obviously wasn't planning on doing, but I've been doing well. I've come a long way. I feel pretty good about it.

"We'll see what decisions the coaches make about it," he said. "I feel like with field goals and stuff, I've been hitting the ball really well. I'm excited about the season.”

While he did some punting in high school out of necessity, it’s really the first time since he has been at Auburn that Carlson has worked extensively on that part of his game. After knocking the rust off early in the preseason, he said that it is becoming more comfortable for him now and if he wins the job he’ll be ready.

“I guess the punting situation wasn't what the coaches wanted so they had me compete,” he said. “I've done really well so I think there should be a decision pretty soon. We'll see what the coaches decided and what they need me for.

"I'm excited if I end up doing all three," he said. "I'm excited about doing that and I'll take on the challenge. Hopefully, I'll just do a really good job. We'll see.”

No matter what happens with his role as a punter, there is very little question about Carlson’s assignment as Auburn’s No. 1 kicker for the foreseeable future. With a comfortable range up to 55 yards and only getting stronger because of his time with Coach Ryan Russell and the strength staff, the Colorado native said the toughest thing for him right now is to remain patient and try not to over-kick.

“I feel a whole lot better now,” Carlson said. “I've gained 20 pounds or so since I've been here. I feel a lot stronger, and I think that'll show with those longer kicks and punting and kickoffs and stuff. I feel like Coach Russell has done a really good job with me.

“The hardest part about it is making sure my leg is fresh,” he added. “I'm the type of guy who will keep working and working. Coach is having to watch my reps. I'm trying to be smarter about that and still get as much work as I can. We'll see what the coaches decide. I'm going to do my best with my work.”

He points out that having the opportunity to watch and learn from both Cody Parkey and Steven Clark last season was a big plus for Carlson. Learning that routine and practice are keys to success, he said for him that means working tirelessly through the summer and preseason to make sure he and his guys are ready to go on Aug. 30.

“I've been hitting the ball really well,” he said. “I think just with the team, I've been more consistent than I've ever been. I'm really excited. I feel like it will be a good year for me. I'm just continuing to get that rhythm and timing with the snapper or a holder.

“At practice yesterday I hit a 50 and a 53-yarder back to back,” Carlson added. “Just with live kicks, when I'm really focused in, I'm hitting the ball well. There's a chance I can get some 50-yarders, hopefully. I have the leg. I'm a big, tall guy. I just stay to my techniques and I should do really well.”

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