Auburn and Alabama both have an all-time great player this season

When they get around to naming the all-century teams at Alabama and Auburn some 83 years from now, one current player from each team will be under strong consideration.

Then why is it that neither player is among the first mentioned when prognosticating the 2017 season?

In Auburn’s case it’s simple: The best player plays a position that is seldom discussed. But that doesn’t mean Daniel Carlson isn’t an all-time great. In fact, without ever playing another down, Carlson is already the greatest kicker in Auburn history.

As a three-year starter, he’s made 83 percent of his field goals, never missed an extra point in 141 tries and he’s made at least one 50-yarder every year. There’s a reason why Gus Malzahn ended the spring game with Carlson booting a long field goal while surrounded by the entire team. It’s because Carlson is better at his job than anybody else on his team.

The same could be said for Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams. I watched him play as a true freshman and marveled at how good he was uch a young age. But when I talk to people who know a lot more about offensive line play than I do and they say he is already one of the all-time greats, I pay attention.

Other players will get more headlines, but fans should stop to appreciate Carlson and Williams.

For Threaded Fasteners, I’m Randy Kennedy with Nuts and Bolts of the Game.

Stephen Root