The college football season is well underway, and the Indiana Hoosiers have jumped out to a surprising 3-0 start. Close wins against Southern Illinois, Florida International, and Western Kentucky saw the Hoosiers come from behind in each outing, and the team boasts its first 3-0 start since the 2010 season. A huge key to the team’s success has been junior kicker Griffin Oakes, a member of the 2015 spring class at Indiana Gamma who won the starting job midway through last season. Oakes has hit 6 of his 7 field goal attempts and 14 of 15 extra points through three games this season, and his efforts are being noticed. His success last season and hard work over the summer earned Oakes a full athletic scholarship from coach Kevin Wilson and the IU athletic department, and Oakes couldn’t be happier about it.
“It’s just a huge honor to be recognized in the eyes of the coaches as someone who deserves something like this”, Oakes said of the scholarship offer. “For someone like me who didn’t have any division one offers coming out of high school, this is a dream come true, not only for me but for my parents as well”. Undoubtedly, this season has already been a great success for Griffin, and with further success on the horizon, his brothers at Indiana Gamma are excited to watch it all unfold. Blake Biesen, Griffin’s pledge brother in the spring class and former teammate on the football field, expressed his optimism for Oakes’ season. “Considering I was on the team with him last year, it’s weird seeing him from the stands as a fan instead of on the field”, he notes, “but it’s been great for all of us to see him playing so well and earning the scholarship, we watch him every single Saturday and we couldn’t be more proud.”
He’ll have to get right to work to earn that scholarship, however, as the Hoosiers’ schedule only gets tougher from here. They face their first road test of the season this Saturday against Wake Forest, before coming home to face the nation’s best team, Ohio State, to open conference play. The Hoosiers are seeking to appear in their first bowl game since the 2007 Insight Bowl, and they have a tough Big Ten schedule in their way, but Coach Wilson should be confident that the kicking game is one thing he won’t have to worry about thanks to his newest scholarship athlete.