Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
Countdown to Kickoff: #99 – Allen Stallings and Nathaniel Snyder
Weight: 244 pounds
Hometown: Maywood, IL (Oak Park High School)
Class/Position: Junior/Defensive End
Coaches and scouts agree that wrestling can help develop the tools necessary to become a successful pass-rusher on the gridiron. That’s why expectations were somewhat high when IU landed Allen Stallings prior to the 2016 season. Stallings was an accomplished wrestler in high school, in fact, he won a state title as a senior. In addition, he wreaked havoc on the football field, earning all-conference and all-state selections as a lineman for Oak Park High School.
Stallings wasn’t physically heavy enough to contribute much as a true freshman during the 2016 season. He played sparingly, appearing in only two games. However, he impressed the coaches and flashed his potential as he earned scout team player of the week on two occasions. The 2017 season saw a slow start for Stallings but he came into his own throughout the season and finished with 25 tackles, 15 of them solo, three sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one safety. Those numbers placed him third in tackles among IU defensive linemen.
While Stallings does not enter the 2018 season expected to be an elite pass rusher, it is fair to anticipate that he can be one of the better pass-rushers on this squad and a significant contributor on Mark Hagen’s defensive line. He’ll be competing with Lance Bryant, Brandon Wilson, Tramar Reece, Michael Ziemba and incoming freshman James Head but I fully expect the junior from Illinois to see a lot of snaps and have a career-high in sacks on this rebuilt defense.
Weight: 184 pounds
Hometown: Greenwood, IN (Center Grove High School)
Class/Position: Redshirt sophomore/Kicker
Kickers don’t often get much “love” and they are typically overlooked as unnecessary and lesser parts of the team. However, it’s common for games to be decided by field goals and having a good kicker is extremely important for a team that is likely be involved in a significant number of close games. After graduating long-time kicker Griffin Oakes, the Hoosiers are on the lookout for their next great kicker and it’s an open competition that will probably continue throughout fall camp. Redshirt sophomore Nathanael Snyder is not considered a favorite to win the job but he’s one of a few candidates with a shot.
Snyder excelled as the kicker for some excellent teams at Center Grove High School, including the 14-0 state championship squad that won the 2015 state championship. Snyder hit 14-20 field goals in his high school career and was an all-state kicker in his senior year. He redshirted the 2016 season after joining as a walk-on and then did not see any game action in 2017 as Oakes handled all kicking duties. Snyder is now a redshirt sophomore and he is majoring in criminal justice. Logan Justus and Rutgers transfer Jared Smolar are Snyder’s primary competition for the starting position at this moment but incoming Freshman All-American Charles Campbell is probably the odds-on favorite to win the job by the start of the season.
The Hoosier Huddle Countdown to Kickoff will continue each and every day so be sure to check the site often for the next profile piece!
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