Written by: Lydia Knoll (Twitter: @lydddknoll)
There are now 90 days remaining until the Indiana Hoosiers kick-off the 2016 season in Miami against the Florida International Golden Panthers. Join us each day for each part of our 100-day countdown to the opener! Joe Belden of Avon, Indiana is wearing #90 as well as kicker Aaron Del Grosso.
Joe Belden (Redshirt Freshman)
-Weight: 260 pounds
-Hometown: Avon, Indiana
-Position: Defensive End
Another homegrown Hoosier, Joe Belden comes from the city of Avon, Indiana where he was an impressive defensive lineman. He was an IFCA Top 50 All-State senior and member of the Indianapolis Star Super Team. Ranked the number 16th prospect in Indiana by rivals.com, Belden had offers from schools including Ball State, Bowling Green, Western Michigan, and Miami of Ohio. In regards to his decision of IU, Belden says, “My family is the most important thing in the world to me, and for me to be able to play in front of them every Saturday was a big deal… That’s why I chose to stay close to home and attend Indiana University.” Rightfully choosing Indiana over his other offers, he joined the ranks of the defensive ends. Belden was redshirted for his first season at IU but holds great potential to make his mark on the team this upcoming season.
Belden is competing for a defensive end position against teammates including Jacob Robinson (sophomore), Brandon Wilson (redshirt freshman), and Allen Stallings (freshman). Jacob Robinson, having played in all thirteen games last season, has a decent amount of experience over the other three and the highest probability of a starting position. However, according to Rivals.com, in high school for the state of Indiana Belden was ranked only three prospects lower than that of Robinson (16th vs. 13th) which is extremely close for the number of prospects the state produces. This proves that Belden can compete but will have to work hard and prove himself early on in training and fall camp to secure his spot. Thankfully, with the young depth of this crucial position, Indiana’s defense can begin to turn itself around.
There are now 90 days remaining until the Indiana Hoosiers kick-off the 2016 season in Miami against the Florida International Golden Panthers. Join us each day for each part of our 100-day countdown to the opener! Aaron Del Grosso of Hobart, Indiana is wearing #90.
Aaron Del Grosso (Sophomore)
-Weight: 196 pounds
-Hometown: Hobart, Indiana
And yet another Hoosier born and raised marks the ninety days until kickoff countdown. This one from the very northern tip of Indiana, the small town of Hobart. Aaron Del Grosso, redshirted sophomore, served as the kicker and punter for Hobart High School. Partially thanks to his background in soccer (he was a two-year letter winner in high school for soccer as well) he managed to hit 16 out of 20 attempted field goals and hit all 42 of his attempted extra points. Of 60 kickoffs, he recorded 47 touchbacks. He was named a MaxPreps All-American as well as a first team all-state honoree his senior year. Del Grosso then chose to walk on the team at Indiana University.
Making the team his freshman year as a walk-on was a positive start for Del Grosso. Although he was redshirted his first year, he served as the team’s primary kicker in their first three games of his second year, the 2014 season. He hit his first official field goal in the game against No. 18 Missouri and he successfully kicked 100% of his extra points. Despite these decent efforts, Del Grosso was replaced by Griffin Oakes who still currently holds his spot. Oakes has proven to be a strong kicker but not always consistent. In the event that Oakes is injured or having an off-day, it’s comforting to know that Del Grosso is capable of covering for him. Although Del Grosso didn’t see any playing time last season, he provides competition for Oakes and insurance for the team.
Share any comments or questions you have regarding Belden and Del Grosso as well as the team’s defense and special teams in the comments section (or on the message boards) and be sure to come back to Hoosier Huddle each day during our countdown!