Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
There are now 92 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! The current IU player donning the number 92 is All-Big Ten kicker, junior Griffin Oakes.
-Weight: 200 pounds
-Hometown: Greenwood, Indiana
Oakes won the full time kicking job over Aaron Del Grosso in 2014 and has become one of the top kickers in the country. He holds the record for the longest field goal made in school history (58-yards), and took home Big Ten Kicker of the Year honors in 2015.
Oakes is more than just a weapon the Hoosiers use to put three points on the board. He put 52-of-91 kickoffs back for touchbacks, and rendered many explosive returners useless because of that. He has also become one of the better kickers at executing an onside kick. IU recovered two this past year, and can steal a possession at any moment.
In more traditional categories, Oakes knocked home 24-of-29 field goals (82.8%) and hit 53-of-57 extra points (93%) and gives the Hoosiers a chance to score points anywhere from the opponents 40-yard line on in.
Oakes hails from Greenwood, Indiana where he kicked for Greenwood High School and earned all-conference and all-county honors twice, while being named to the Indiana North-South All-Star team. Since he walked on at Indiana in 2013, Oakes has taken home nine special teams player of the week honors, has been named an Academic All-Big Ten, IU’s special team’s player of the year, and the 2015 Big Ten Kicker of the Year. That is quite the list of accomplishments for a player who still has two year of eligibility remaining.
Oakes will once again be one of the bigger weapons for the Hoosiers in 2016 as he looks to build upon his outstanding sophomore year and looks to stake claim to an All-American nomination. Fans should will see Oakes’ name pop up on multiple All-Big Ten lists and should find him on the watch list for the Lou Groza Award for the nation’s top kicker.
Share any stories you have of Griffin Oakes as a player in the comments section (or on the message boards) and be sure to come back to Hoosier Huddle each day during our countdown!