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Indiana football going with two kickers to start season: ‘We’ll use whoever we think it plays to their strengths’



Nico Radicic looks to be splitting kicking duties with Chris Freeman for Indiana football.
Nico Radicic looks to be splitting kicking duties with Chris Freeman for Indiana football. (Nico Radicic - @nicoradicic / Instagram)

Earlier this week Indiana football head coach Tom Allen stated that he would not be naming his starting kicker publicly. It had been a long and drawn-out process in the offseason and in one of the more head-scratching moments from a head coach in fall camp, the decisions would be kept in house.

“We do (have a starter picked), yeah. Those guys know all that. We’re not going to post anything, but I feel good about that,” Allen said last week. “I do feel like we have options, which is good. We’ve got guys that have different skill sets and different strengths and things that they do in the kicking game.”

On Wednesday during his weekly radio show with Don Fischer, Allen provided a bit more clarity on the kicking situation.

“Chris Freeman was our kickoff specialist last year, and so he’s going to continue to do that. He and Nico (Radicic) competed during fall camp as well with Alex (Quintero),” Allen said. “Nico was set back. He had an injury the first half of camp. Nothing serious but it did keep him from being able to compete in that competition — kind of made it a little bit more drawn out than it was. But those guys are both going to kick. Believe in both of them, so based on the situation, we’ll use whoever we think it plays to their strengths.”

“Bottom line is Nico is a very talented player and Chris came here as a walk-on and earned a scholarship . Really love his leg strength … a guy we have now learned to depend on.”

So, as it appears, the Indiana football program will be going with two kickers to start the season. Likely, Radicic for closer situations and Freeman, because of his leg strength and experience kicking in a college stadium, for longer situations.

Radicic came to Indiana looking to fill the shoes left after the transfer of Charles Campbell. While he’s just a true freshman, he was labeled as a five-star kicker from Kohl’s Kicking and has the talent to be a valuable asset to the Hoosiers this season.

Moving forward, you would like Radicic to be the guy. Because of the lack of college experience and missing some time in camp, however, Indiana will likely bring him along a bit slower.

“He’s got a chip on his shoulder. The thing I’ll give Nico a lot of credit for is he’s an extremely confident, young man. Very pleased with him so far.” Indiana football special teams coach Kasey Teegardin said earlier in fall camp. “He is a freshman. You try to build it and bring him along slowly and adapt him into the environment because it’s going to be different. He comes from a big-time high school that plays some really good football down in Texas. He’s kicked in the All-American game so he’s been in pressure situations which you love. We’re going to put him in pressure situations (in camp), we put him in one today and he answered the call, which is what you expect.”

Indiana ranked 11th in field goal kicking in the Big Ten, finishing 14-of-20 for the season.

“It’s different when you’re kicking in Memorial Stadium. So you’ve got to try to continue to just out-execute it, get their confidence built,” Teegardin continued. ” … We have points on the line and that is absolutely critical.”

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.