'You can't beat it': A-Day MVPs Coe, Tolbert, Carlson seize the moment

Monday, April 9, 2018

'You can't beat it': A-Day MVPs Coe, Tolbert, Carlson seize the moment

'You can't beat it': Anders Carlson was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts in his first A-Day. Photo: Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics

April 9, 2018

By Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. - Some guys seize the moment, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said before A-Day.

During Auburn’s spring scrimmage, Nick Coe, C.J. Tolbert and Anders Carlson were those guys, seizing the moment to earn A-Day most valuable player honors.

Coe scored A-Day’s first points, sacking Joey Gatewood for a safety.

“Not too many opportunities that you’ll get to make plays like that, so when you get the opportunity, you’ve got to go all in,” Coe said.

The defensive MVP made two tackles for loss, part of a dominant performance by Auburn’s No. 1 defense.

“I want everybody to be MVP,” said Coe. “For me, it’s like taking it to another level. I want all of my buddies to take us to the next level, too.”

After redshirting in 2016, Coe made the SEC All-Freshman team last season with 29 tackles and two sacks.

“I was talking to Carl Lawson about what I can do better,” Coe said. “I’m not perfect. I’m over here still learning.”

Running back C.J. Tolbert delivered A-Day’s longest play, a 79-yard run.

“Offensive linemen and receivers, they set it up perfectly,” Tolbert said. “Coach always talks about being patient. I let them get on their blocks, and just off to the races then. I was just trying to break as many tackles as I could.”

Tolbert scored both A-Day touchdowns, earning offensive MVP honors by rushing for 137 yards on 16 carries.

“Just blessed,” said Tolbert, a senior from nearby Dadeville, Alabama. “Just thank God for the opportunity to be here, to be at a great university.”

Carlson, a redshirt freshman, was an easy choice for special teams MVP, going 4-for-4 on field goal attempts from 45, 38, 41 and 53 yards.

“That was awesome,” Carlson said. “My first game here at Jordan-Hare. You can’t beat it.”

Carlson saved his longest for last, closing out the A-Day scoring with a 53-yarder with 2:15 remaining.

“It felt fine,” he said. “We were going against the wind on that, just a little bit of wind. I hit it pretty smooth.”

With an impressive spring, Anders positioned himself to take over for his brother Daniel Carlson, the SEC’s all-time leading scorer.

“The kicking game was something I was concerned about, losing Daniel,” Malzahn said. “I think everybody sees we’re in a position to be pretty good in the kicking game for a long time.”

Having seized the moment, the A-Day MVPs will close out spring practice with Monday and Tuesday workouts, hoping to carry their momentum into the 2018 season opener in Atlanta against Washington Sept. 1 in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game.

“Get ready, starting tomorrow,” Carlson said. “It’s a process.”

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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