CM’s Austyn Carson stays local, kicking at LHU

LOCK HAVEN — There isn’t one typical way a football player decides to learn the art of kicking. For Central Mountain High School graduate turned Lock Haven University starting kicker Austyn Carson, it simply came out of necessity in eighth grade.

Carson had a soccer background, playing the sport from the age of five, until he was twelve. Since Carson, who was a quarterback at the time, was also a past soccer player, he decided to give kicking a shot when his team needed a kicker.

“I tried it and hit a 30-yard field goal and they said ‘yeah, you’re gonna stick with this’,” Carson said. “After that, it started to be my passion.”

Carson followed his newfound passion from then on, learning the tricks of the trade with the Wildcats throughout high school. He also continued to play quarterback, serving as the team’s starting QB during the 2017 season. The dual-threat signal caller threw for 1,215 yards and ran for 512 during his senior year at Central Mountain.

He also expanded his range from that initial 30-yard kick, and coaches took notice. That list of coaches included Lock Haven Football head coach, Dave Taynor

“My summer before my senior year we came and talked to him,” Carson said. “I really enjoyed his company and how he pursued me as a kicker.”

Something stuck out to Carson about Taynor’s pitch, the desire to be uncomfortable.

“When you’re making a college choice, you’re trying to find somewhere that’s comfortable,” Carson said. “Coach Taynor really stressed to us that you don’t want to be comfortable all the time, you want to go somewhere that’s gonna push you and it’s nice to have it in your backyard.”

When Carson signed on with the Bald Eagles, he had no idea where he stood on the team’s special teams depth chart. He worked hard all summer, putting himself in position to win the job.

Now Carson will play his first college football game, and will do so as the starting kicker and punter for Lock Haven.

“I tried to perfect my craft, but I came here with the mindset that you might be number one, you might not be number one,” Carson said. “So far it’s looking good. The team’s doing great and I feel pretty comfortable now, and uncomfortable.”

Fans will have the chance to see Carson take to the newly-renovated Hubert Jack Stadium for the first time on September 8 against Clarion.

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