Those who know Purdue’s kicker well might as well have yawned in reaction to his 67-yard field goal.
It was nothing special teams coordinator J.B. Gibbony hadn’t seen before.
“A 67-yard field goal for many people is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement,” he said, “but we’ve seen him make that on many occasions. For us, it wasn’t as much of a shock as it probably was for the average fan.”
The field goal, which came during Purdue’s spring scrimmage, would have tied the NCAA record for longest ever had it occurred in a regular season game. Fans have been served an appetizer of what Wiggs can do, and Gibbony expects they’ll get a full-course meal in the coming season. If Purdue’s on the 50-yard line at the end of a game, don’t necessarily expect a Hail Mary if a field goal will suffice.
“It’s a weapon every coach wishes they had,” Gibbony said. “He has a chance on any given day to set the record for the longest field goal in football history.”
Kickers often find themselves on their own island in football locker rooms. They’re not seen as real football players – more like soccer players with pads and a helmet. Wiggs, though, has gained the respect of his teammates by showing that he’s not afraid to get in the face of a lineman. He’s been appointed team captain for the coming season.
“The best part about Carson is he’s a football player who happens to be a kicker,” Gibbony said. “If we ever pick off a pass, he’s one of the first guys out there congratulating his teammates.”
Wiggs came to Purdue from Grand Prairie, Texas. He kicked and played running back and corner back for his high school football team in the fall and played soccer in the winter. His father, Jay, said when Purdue invited Carson to a kicking camp, there was one thing they had to first: Find the University on a map.
“We didn’t even know where Purdue was, quite frankly, when they were recruiting us,” he said.
Two days after Carson attended the camp, Purdue offered him a full scholarship.
Carson’s younger brother, Jordan, will be heading to Stephen F. Austin State University in Austin, Texas, to kick next year. Jay said the two often engage in a friendly competition of who can hit the farthest field goal. Carson has the stronger leg, but Jordan’s deadly accurate.
“The younger brother really looks up to Carson – always has,” Jay said. “He wants to accomplish what the big brother does.”
The one accomplishment that Carson would like to add to his already-impressive list is a Bowl Game. He has friends who are kickers at universities around the country, his father said, and many of them have played in the Bowl Championship Series. They’ve called Carson after their experiences to tell him all about the free watches and TVs they’ve been given for taking part in the games while he watches from home.
“He’s been there three years and nothing,” Jay said. “That really grinds on him.”
Jay said Carson is optimistic about the team this year, and he believes he’ll get that bowl game in his final season at Purdue.
“He said there’s a lot of hardworking kids this year,” he said. “Apparently they got rid of the slackers.”