Position battles are a part of college football, and sometimes, when a battle is lost, the loser — for a lack of better term — decides to test his luck elsewhere.
Pat Narduzzi rewarded Caleb Junko’s strong offseason and put him on scholarship last week, later naming him Pitt’s starting punter against Wofford, and that move has resulted in a departure from the program.
Walk-on punter Jeff Yurk is no longer listed on Pitt’s roster, as he apparently made the decision to leave the team following Junko being named as Pitt’s starting punter going forward.
Yurk transferred to Pitt as a preferred walk-on from Elon with the intention of winning the competition for the Panthers’ open punting job after a season of massive instability at the punting position. But obviously, it didn’t go according to plan.
Yurk was one of the best punters in the FCS in 2022, averaging 44.1 yards per punt — which set the Elon record — with 18 punts inside the 20-yard line and 16 punts of at least 50 yards. He earned FCS Sophomore All-American and All-CAA after finishing fifth in the FCS in punting average. It is uncertain what he will do next.
— Elon Football (@ElonFootball) November 5, 2022
Pitt’s punting spot was less than ideal last season with Sam Vander Haar (who has also since left the program) initially starting, with Junko and Cam Guess also receiving limited opportunities, and it was a position that Narduzzi and special teams coach Andre Powell wanted to rectify in 2023.
Junko will be the Pitt starter in the season opener against Wofford this Saturday, and he will be backed up by sophomore walk-on Cam Guess.