Photo by Jason Caldwell

Auburn Kicker Daniel Carlson Finalist For Lou Groza Award

Daniel Carlson's strong season is drawing recognition with the sophomore one of three finalists for a major kicking award.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn redshirt sophomore  Daniel Carlson is one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, which is presented annually to college football's top placekicker.

Carlson is in contention for the honor with Jake Elliott of Memphis and Ka’imi Fairbairn of UCLA.. Carlson is the third Auburn finalist for the Groza Award along with Damon Duval (2001) and John Vaughn (2006).

 “This is a great honor and a real tribute to all my teammates on special teams,” Carlson said on Tuesday as his Tigers prepare for Saturday's regular season finale vs. Alabama. “At the beginning of the season it was our goal as a group to have the best special teams in the nation so I feel this is recognition for all of our efforts. Lou Groza is legendary among kickers, and it’s a great honor to have this connection with his award.”

Carlson is the only kicker in college football with four field goals of 51 yards or longer this season. His 56-yarder vs. Louisville in the opener is the fifth-longest in college football in 2015. His five 50-plus field goals in his last 11 games top the total of 50-yard field goals made by all Auburn kickers in the games combined dating back to 2003. Those five field goals of 50-plus tie the Auburn career record set by Neil O’Donoghue (1975-76).

 In his last six games Carlson is 14-14 on field goal attempts with two 52-yard field goals, setting an Auburn record for consecutive field goals made, breaking the mark set in 1997. He has made 20-23 field goals this season, surpassing his total from 2014 for the second-most in Auburn history.

This season 43 of Carlson’s 59 kickoffs have gone for touchbacks, the fifth best percentage (72.88 percent) nationally. For his career 93 of 140 kickoffs (66.4 percent) have been touchbacks.

 The winner of the Lou Groza Award will be announced on Monday, Dec.  7, at the Groza Award Banquet in West Palm Beach, Fla. The three finalists will appear on the Home Depot 25th Anniversary College Football Awards on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 10 in Atlanta.

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