With Griffin Oakes in his final year of eligibility this fall the IU staff is looking for a replacement at kicker in the 2018 class, and one specialist that could be an option is Nate Needham. The Chesterton, Indiana native was in Bloomington this past weekend to get a closer look at the Hoosiers.
Needham said he enjoyed getting to know the coaching staff on his visit to IU this past Saturday.
“I had been to Indiana before,” he said. “My junior and senior years of high school I was recruited by Indiana, and I went to a couple of their games. This was my first time to hang out with these coaches and to get to know Coach (Jeff) McInerney. From what I can tell they are bringing a new culture to the program. I can tell that trust is something that will be important in their program. They are great guys and they have high expectations.”
Needham spent last fall at Youngstown State after signing with them out of Chesterton H.S., but he decided to transfer because he didn’t feel like it was the place for him.
“I signed with Youngstown State out of high school, but I decided to leave because it didn’t feel like home to me. I respect Coach Bo (Pelini) and that program and what they’re doing there. Coach Bo treated me great and he made me into a better person, but I just didn’t feel at home there. That is the main reason I decided to leave. I have a ton of respect for that program but I just felt like it would be better to go elsewhere.”
The talented kicker will be at a junior college this fall with the plan of transferring to a four-year school next January.
“I am going to a junior college in New York so that I can train with my kicking coach,” Needham said. “I am at Erie C.C. in Buffalo. I’m not playing football there but I will be training there. I will take a redshirt this season and then I plan on transferring somewhere in January of 2018.”
Needham plans on being in Bloomington this summer for an IU camp so that he can kick in front of the coaches in hopes of landing a scholarship offer.
“I know they plan to scholarship a kicker in the class of 2018,” he said. “They said that they will evaluate guys and whoever does the best job will get it. Coach (Tom) Allen is big into special teams and they are going to offer a kicker and take the best one. I plan on going to IU this summer for a camp to compete for that scholarship.”
If the Hoosiers do end up offering Needham they will have a great shot at landing him because of the opportunities he would have at IU on and off the field.
“Indiana is definitely one of my top schools,” he said. “I love the business program that they have. Academics are very important to me and I feel like Indiana would give me a great degree.”
Needham said he will make a decision on where he will transfer to when he feels like he has found the right school for him.
“I don’t have a specific timetable,” he said about his decision. “It will be based on when I find a place that feels like home to me, and a place where I believe I will be happy for the next few years. Whenever I feel that is when I will decide, but there is not exactly a timetable for that.”