One of the forgotten questions heading into the 2021 is what Purdue football was going to do at kicker. The departure of long time incumbent J.D. Dellinger, who could have returned for a 6th season, left the position wide open. The roster lists walk-ons Ben Freehill, Caleb Krockover, Chris Van Eekeren, and J.D.’s brother Edward Dellinger, but none of them have attempted a single placekick in a game and only Van Eekeren has appeared as a kickoff specialist. Freehill is listed as an Oklahoma State transfer, but he did not play.
Needless to say the position is up for grabs, and the competition just got tighter with the addition of transfer Mitchell Fineran.
Committed and ready to work!! @BoilerFootball pic.twitter.com/VccPvFfBLN— Mitchell Fineran (@MFineran) May 4, 2021
Fineran is a really, really good pickup and likely becomes the favorite to win the job after three great years at Samford, an FCS level team. he was a first team all-SoCon performer this year for the FCS spring season (moved to due to COVID) that just ended for Samford. he connected on 15 of his 18 field goal attempts and 32 of 33 extra point attempts. He has good range with a long of 50 yards. He also handled kickoff duties with 31 touchbacks on 54 attempts.
He was a three year starter at Samford and went an impressive 43 of 56 on field goal attempts. Remember: Because this past year was essentially a free pass for everyone he can kick at Purdue for two seasons.
Fineran is officially the 9th transfer into the program and first from the FCS level, joining Tyler Witt (Western Kentucky), Dylan Downing (UNLV), Joe Anderson (South Carolina), Ben Freehill (Oklahoma State), Jamari Brown (Kentucky), Damarjhe Lewis (Indiana), CJ McWilliams (Florida), and OC Brothers (Auburn)