2016 Position Primer: IU Special Teams

In this preview examines the IU special teams and who are the names to know on this unit.

In this preview examines the special teams unit for the Hoosiers. This is a position group that returns the Big Ten Kicker of the Year and a very good punt returner, but there are questions at punter and with the kick return team.

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Position Primer: Indiana Defensive Line

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CLASS: Redshirt Junior

STATS: In 2015 Oakes made 24-of-29 field goals and 53-of-57 extra points. He also averaged 62.9 yards on kick-offs.

NOTES: Oakes had a very good 2015 season as he was named the Kicker of the Year in the Big Ten. The Greenwood, Indiana native has a big leg that is capable of making field goals of up to 60 yards. Oakes had a few tough performances to close out the 2015 season, but he is a quality kicker for the Hoosiers.

CLASS: Redshirt Senior

STATS: In 2015 Paige returned 18 punts for 199 yards (11.1 yards per return) with two returns for touchdowns.

NOTES: Paige had an excellent season in 2015 as the punt returner for the Hoosiers. His average per return was the fifth best in the Big Ten and 22nd in the nation. Paige is fearless as a returner and he has a knack for finding the crease and getting through it.

CLASS: Redshirt Freshman

STATS: In 2015 Williams returned 10 kick-offs for 204 yards (20.4 yards per return).

NOTES: Before going down with a season-ending injury Williams was doing a solid job as a kick returner for IU. Williams is a dynamic player that gives the Hoosiers a chance for a big play every time he returns a kick-off.

CLASS: Redshirt Sophomore

STATS: In 2015 Brookins returned 10 kick-offs for 172 yards (17.2 yards per return).

NOTES: Brookins did not get a ton of chances to return kick-offs last fall, but when he did he did a solid job. Devonte Williams should be the primary returner for the Hoosiers, but there will be times when Brookins has to return one and they need him to be productive when doing so.

CLASS: Redshirt Sophomore

STATS: Gedeon has yet to play in a game for the Hoosiers.

NOTES: Gedeon takes over the punting duties for the Hoosiers after backing up Erich Toth last year. The Columbus, Indiana native has shown a big leg in practice, but he sometimes struggles with consistency.

CLASS: Redshirt Sophomore

STATS: In 2015 Del Grosso did not see any game action for the Hoosiers.

NOTES: Del Grosso was the starting kicker for the first three games of the 2014 season, but he suffered an injury and that opened the door for Griffin Oakes and Oakes has not looked back. If something were to happen to Oakes the Hoosiers have a quality back-up in Del Grosso.

CLASS: Redshirt Sophomore

STATS: Shake has yet to play in a game for the Hoosiers.

NOTES: Shake has yet to appear in a game for the Hoosiers, but he will enter the 2016 season as the back-up at punter behind Joseph Gedeon. He was a First Team All-State selection in high school as a kicker and punter.


CLASS: Freshman

NOTES: Conrad was a very good high school punter for the Center Grove Trojans, and he has made a good early impression on the IU staff. Based on comments from Coach Wilson the Greenwood, Indiana native is pushing Jake Shake to be the back-up to Joseph Gedeon.


Indiana returns the top kicker in the Big Ten in Griffin Oakes, as well as one of the top punt returners in Mitchell Paige. Oakes has a big leg and gives the Hoosiers a weapon in the kicking game. Paige has become a very good punt returner, and he is a threat to make something happen every time he returns a punt. The key for the IU special teams this fall is finding a consistent punter, and getting better on kick returns. It looks like Joseph Gedeon will be the starting punter for IU. The redshirt sophomore has displayed a big leg in practice, but inconsistency can be an issue at times. In 2015 Indiana was second to last in the Big Ten in kick returns and that is something that has to improve. Too many times the kick return team was making life harder for the offense with poor returns. Redshirt freshman Devonte Williams has the kind of dynamic playmaking ability that could make a big difference for the IU kick return unit. Indiana special team for the most part have been solid the last few seasons, but there is still room for improvement, and if this program wants to keep heading up it is an area that needs to clean a few things up. Top Stories