COLORADO SPRINGS — "It's fun to watch but we knew, I knew then," former TCA football coach David Bervig said.
Nearly a decade after The Classical Academy's Daniel Carlson starred on the prep stage, the standout kicker for the Las Vegas Raiders has come full circle.
"I had a lot of help along the way," Carlson said. "It takes a village to raise a kid, it takes a village to raise an athlete."
Back in his home state this past Sunday, the Colorado Springs native place-kicked his way into team history at Empower Field at Mile High in the Raider's 32-31 win over the Broncos.
With six total points, Carlson passed legend, Sebastian Janikowski, on the single-season points list with 144 total. An impressive mark that also tied for the NFL lead in 2020.
"It's pretty unbelievable to break a record like that with a historic organization such as the Raiders and Sebastian Janikowski," Carlson said.
Fitting it was an Oakland and now Las Vegas gamble that has seemed to pay off in a big way. After being drafted in the fifth round and then cut by the Vikings two games into his NFL career in 2018, he landed his second chance with the Silver and Black.
"There were some kicking technical things I needed to fix and learn that I wouldn't have if I made it on to the Vikings," Carlson said.
Dozens of field goals later, it appears the tough times didn't last long for the former Auburn Tigers star, whose brother Anders, also plays for his alma mater.
"Couldn't imagine it being any better with the cuts, with the tough days," Carlson said. "It has been the journey of a lifetime."
This season, the 6'5 special teams standout has put together one of the most accurate campaigns in league history. The third-year pro has gone 35-for-37 on field goals attempts and 45-for-47 on PATs.
"A lot of hard work by me but also a lot of hard work put in by the other guys," Carlson said. "All doing their jobs and making my life a lot easier."
These days, life is good for the 25-year old, who became a dad earlier this year. A complete dream and now a reality, which kicked off right in Southern Colorado's backyard.
"We still stay in touch, it's awesome, he knows where he is from," Bervig said.
"I've been surrounded by the right people and opportunities, lucky to take advantage of that," Carlson said.