Auburn place-kicker Daniel Carlson made the list of 20 semifinalists for the 2015 Lou Groza Award that were announced Thursday afternoon.
The award is given annual to the best kicker in the nation as voted on by coaches, and sports information directors. Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 24 with the winner revealed at ESPN’s College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10.
Carlson has been one of Auburn’s most consistent players through eight games this season.
The sophomore is 14 of 17 kicking field goals, and 24 of 24 on extra points, with a FBS-leading four kicks from 50 yards or more. Last week’s 52-yard field goal set a new Auburn single season record for kicks of 50-plus yards previously set in 1969 by John Riley.
“From a coaching staff standpoint, we’ve got a lot of confidence in him when it crosses around the 35 yard line, he’s going to have a high success rate,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “He’s done a great job.”
Malzahn also pointed to Carlson’s consistency on kickoffs as a big advantage for Auburn. He has 33 touchbacks in 40 attempts, and his 82.5 touchback percentage is second in the country.
“If you really look at the kickoffs too, he’s got to be one of the best place kickers in college football,” Malzahn said. “And I think at the end of the year, everybody will see, he’ll be up for all those awards and all that and I think it will be very warranted.”