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Pitt P Sam Vander Haar Enters the Transfer Portal



The writing was on the wall for this one when Sam Vander Haar didn’t take any snaps during the spring.

Vander Haar entered the transfer portal Monday, FarrellSports’ Mike Farrell reported. He lost his starting job at the end of last season and failed to jump into the competition between Caleb Junko and Jeff Yurk this spring.

And considering Vander Haar was Pitt’s lone scholarship punter, if he wasn’t starting, it would’ve been a scholarship not being utilized in the 2023 season — and beyond.

Vander Haar arrived as an early enrollee in January of 2022, immediately stepping into the starting punting role vacated by fellow Aussie Kirk Christodoulou, but it was not an easy transition to American football for Vander Haar.

In 11 games during the 2022 season, he averaged 38.5 yards per punt on 31 attempts — with just one 50-yard punt and 11 kicks pinned inside the 20-yard line. Simply put, Pitt’s punting situation wasn’t good enough last season.

Junko and Yurk competed throughout the spring to be Pitt’s starting punter, and while Pat Narduzzi hasn’t named a starter yet, Junko’s strong spring game (49.5-yard average on four attempts) likely gives him the early edge.

With Vander Haar’s scholarship off the books, it can be repurposed somewhere else on the roster. Pitt has four open scholarships as it stands now.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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