Colorado Springs, Colo.--Kicker commitment Anders Carlson is used to seeing older brother Daniel Carlson have success on the football field. Seeing him in high school and transitioning to play for the Auburn Tigers, where Daniel has become one of the best kickers in the country, Anders Carlson said the season his brother had this year was one to remember.
“It’s awesome,” the younger Carlson said. “Seeing him when he was back in high school work really hard for this and know he is succeeding really well at Auburn, it’s really special.
"I think Coach (Gus) Malzahn says it really well when he says Daniel is the best kicker in the country," Anders says. “I know he didn’t win the Groza (Lou Groza Award), but it could have gone either way. Seeing that is really special and hopefully being part of that next year will be an even better experience.”
One of the top high school kickers in the country and a player with an extremely strong leg, Anders Carlson connected on 48-48 extra points this season and had touchbacks on 69 of 79 kickoffs with many of the remaining 10 special plays when he intentionally kicked off short. On field goals his numbers don’t jump out at you, connecting on just 13-23 kicks with a long of 51, but considering seven of his misses were from 55 yards or more that puts things into a little more perspective.
A player who is physically capable of competing for the job right away, Anders Carlson is looking forward to having the opportunity to learn under his brother for a year before he steps on the big stage. That is something that Daniel was able to do when he played redshirted behind current NFL kicker Cody Parkey for a season before winning the job in 2014.
Following the Groza Award announcement when Zane Gonzalez from Arizona State won, marking the second straight year that Daniel Carlson lost out after making the final three, the junior said he will have to come back next year and try to win it.
That’s music to the ears of his younger brother. “It’s going to be extremely special,” Anders Carlson said. “We have never been on the same team--this will be our first time. On top of that, just working with him every day will be great. Us being kickers, in high school it’s kind of hard being on the only kicker.
“Going to college and working with really good kickers, and one of them happening to be my brother, that’s even more special. I’m looking to get better and make him better each and every day. We’ll see how that goes, but I think it will be great.”
The next step for Carlson is taking part in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando. A full week of practices and activities are planned with the game set for Jan. 1/ Carlson said he’s excited about the opportunity to play with the best of the best.
“I got to go down for the Army Game when Daniel was playing in it four years ago and just being part of that for a week and seeing how cool it was, even though I wasn’t playing it was a cool experience,” the Auburn commitment said. “When I heard about the opportunity to do that as a senior myself, that was a goal the whole year.
“To get it, it’s really special and I’m just excited for it. I’m excited for the game, the practices, meeting all of the guys and more Auburn commitments as well. I’m looking forward to it for sure.”
The week will be a busy one for Anders and his family. Heading to Orlando on Dec. 27 to begin work for the game, after his game he and his family will drive to New Orleans to watch Daniel play for the Tigers on Jan. 2nd vs. Oklahoma in Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans.