Written By Lauralys Shallow
Countdown to Kickoff: #89- Elijah Hiltunen
Weight: 181 pounds
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN (North Central High School)
Class/Position: Redshirt Freshman/Kicker
Often times, close games come down to field goals. A strong kicking unit is a staple for a successful program. In Big Ten play especially, games are close and kicking could decide a game. This season, IU will need to find someone to replace long-time kicker Griffin Oakes. Oakes was a great kicker, and IU hopes to find another reliable kicker like Oakes. The competition is wide open, with some favorites emerging. Elijah Hiltunen walked on at IU last season and redshirted the season. Hiltunen is probably not a favorite to win the job, but he still has fall camp to move up in the competition.
Hiltunen set the record for longest field goal at North Central High School with a 49-yard field goal. Hiltunen is majoring in arts management. Hiltunen is competing with Redshirt sophomore Nathanael Snyder, redshirt junior Logan Justus, Rutgers transfer Jared Smolar and incoming freshman Charles Campbell. Campbell is an All-American and most likely the favorite to earn the starting kicking job this season.
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