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IU football position previews: Special Teams (Part One)

Red-shirt sophomore kicker Griffin Oakes prepares to kick a field goal during the game against Florida International on Sept.12 at Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers won, 36-22.
Red-shirt sophomore kicker Griffin Oakes prepares to kick a field goal during the game against Florida International on Sept.12 at Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers won, 36-22.

Part One:

(Kicker, Punter, Long Snapper)

There are relatively few question marks when analyzing IU’s special teams situation, rather, answers who merely must rise to the current levels of expectation.

Junior Griffin Oakes returns at kicker after winning the Big Ten’s Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year Award in 2015. Oakes, the first IU kicker to win the award, hit 24 of his 29 field goal attempts and connected on 53 of his 57 extra points.

He enters the 2016 season on the watch list for the 2016 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. Oakes’ career in Bloomington has been one of the most successful among IU kickers, as his 37 field goals and 76 extra points have him seventh on IU’s career points list.

Oakes needs just 17 field goals to overtake Mitch Ewald, a 2013 graduate, for most field goals made by an IU kicker. Unless he tanks in 2016, it’s Oakes’ record for the taking.

He already has IU’s record for most made field goals in a season.

The Hoosiers’ future at long snapper is secure as well. Sophomore Dan Godsil returns after appearing in all 13 games a season ago. Godsil replaced former IU long snapper Matt Dooley, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had served as IU’s long snapper in each of IU’s 48 games during his career.

Godsil made seven tackles in 2015, and was named the IU special teams player of the week after the loss to Penn State.

The current answer at punter, the one who must replace Erich Toth, is sophomore Joseph Gedeon.

Gedeon has yet to appear in a game at IU. He redshirted in 2014 after walking on to the program and didn’t see action in 2015 as Toth’s backup.

Toth closed out his career with 240 punts, third on IU’s all-time list, averaging 40.7 yards per punt in 45 games.

Gedeon has yet to be tested, and IU Coach Kevin Wilson has said he's been a little inconsistent, but he has a big leg and at the time it appears his job to lose. Gedeon, a Columbus North High School product, could also give Wilson an option if he wants to try a couple fake punts over the course of 2016.

According to Wilson, Gedeon runs a 4.4 40-yard dash. That speed could serve IU well if Wilson goes for another fake punt as he did against Ohio State, and this time, it may actually work.

Depth Chart

K

92 Griffin Oakes, 5-10, 205, Redshirt Junior

82 Logan Justus, 5-11, 178, Redshirt Freshman

P

86 Joseph Gedeon, 6-3, 195, Redshirt Sophomore

89 Jake Shake, 6-0, 185, Redshirt Sophomore

LS

97 Dan Godsil, 6-4, 233, Sophomore

60 Logan Robbins, 6-1, 215, Redshirt Freshman

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