It's official: Daniel Carlson will handle all of Auburn's kicking duties
An Auburn redshirt freshman is being tabbed with multiple responsibilities when the season starts for the Tigers.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn announced on Saturday that Daniel Carlson, the projected starter to be the Tigers placekicker, will also be wearing another hat in the Aug. 30 opener against Arkansas: punter.
“He’s very talented first of all, talented enough to win the (punting) job against some pretty good punters,” Malzahn said Saturday according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “We’re going to have to do a good job of watching his leg, not just every game, but especially as the season wears on with trying to keep it fresh. But he’s a very meticulous young man. He’s a great competitor. I’m sure there will be some growing pains. We know that anytime you go with a redshirt freshman.”
Carlson beat out Jimmy Hutchinson, Tyler Stovall and Matt Shiel for the punting duties. The presumption was Hutchinson had walked away with the job after spring practice but he wasn’t consistent enough in the eyes of special teams coach Scott Fountain.
Carlson was named the special teams MVP of the A-Day game connecting on a 50-yard field, a 27-yard field while hitting 5-of-6 extra point attempts.
“There are kickers at other schools that have (kicked and punted) successfully,” Carlson said earlier in the week. “Of course it’s a little more rare, I guess, but I’m happy to take on the challenge. I’m excited about it. I think I could be a really good punter if I continue to work on it.”
The last time the Tigers had the same player serve as the punter and placekicker was Damon Duval in 2002. Jaret Holmes also did both in back-to-back (1996-97) seasons.
Carlson will be replacing punter Steven Clark, a Ray Guy Award semifinalist. Clark averaged 42.8 yards a punt last year and was very effective at executing the sky kick. Both Clark and Carlson are 6-foot-4. Carlson takes over for Cody Parkey on kickoffs and field goals. Parkey was 15-21 last year on field goal attempts while making 66 of 67 extra point attempts.