Former Michigan State safety Michael Dowell rang in the new year by committing to Pitt after leaving the Spartans, but it appears he won’t ever make it to Pittsburgh.
Dowell announced Thursday night via Twitter that “due to unforeseen circumstances” he will not attend Pitt and remains in the transfer portal. It’s a move that leaves Pitt dangerously thin at linebacker depth.
Due to unforeseen circumstances I will not be attending University of Pittsburgh. I am still in the transfer-portal looking for a destination. I am a grad transfer S/OLB with 2 years of eligibility left. Contact me for further information/interest.
— Michael J Dowell (@10MDowell) January 14, 2022
Dowell, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound safety who racked up 40 tackles, two tackles for loss and three passes defended last season at Michigan State, was expected to slide down and replace the outgoing Cam Bright and John Petrishen at Star linebacker as an immediate starter.
With Dowell backing off his commitment, Pitt’s linebacking depth and the likely starting unit takes a hit. SirVocea Dennis will return as a starter, and Bangally Kamara will likely slide into the starting lineup, but the Star position is wide open and depth is an issue.
Brandon George returns as a reserve option, but there’s virtually no returning experience outside of Solomon Deshields behind him.
While Pitt is now only two scholarships over the 2022 limit, head coach Pat Narduzzi is going to have to dip back into the transfer portal to find a replacement — which was already expected even with Dowell lined up for next season.