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Pitt Adds JUCO Punter from the Transfer Portal

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Pitt punter Cade Dowd

Pitt has added another punter to compete this summer with returning starter Caleb Junko.

Cade Dowd — a 6-foot-1, 225-pound punter from Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kan. — announced on X (formerly known as Twitter) Friday morning that he committed to Pitt following a visit.

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Dowd will walk on at Pitt this summer and work with Jacob Bronowski and the specialists as the Panthers look to revamp the entire unit.

Dowd averaged 36.8 yards per punt (which ranked second in the KJCCC) on 35 punts. He pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 12 times and booted his longest football 66 yards.

He is rated as a 4.5-star Kohl’s punter, as the 13th-ranked transfer punter, and he earned All-KJCCC honors last season.

Punting was, yet again, a disaster for the Panthers in 2023. Junko beat out Elon transfer Jeff Yurk, who re-entered the portal soon after, for the starting job in 2023 and was placed on scholarship before the season. But it wasn’t an easy season for Junko.

Junko averaged 41.6 yards per punt in 2023, but his inconsistency hurt the Panthers in more than one game last season. His blocked punts and shanked punts at key times were disastrous last season.

Caleb Guess is the only other punter on the roster, and he hasn’t punted since an ill-fated stint in 2022 — averaging 35.3 yards per punt on 12 tries. He’s served as the Panthers’ placeholder the last couple of seasons, but Dowd may work his way into holding duties, too.

Pitt has already revamped how the special teams unit works, with UConn transfer Nilay Upadhyayula arriving as the new long snapper and Eastern Michigan defensive back Josh McCarty arriving as a special teams ace. It remains to be seen what happens at punter, but it seems likely that Dowd will have a chance to compete for a starting spot in 2024.

Bronowski ran a nationally-renowned special teams unit at Miami (Oh.), and he’s working to do the same at Pitt.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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kevin
kevin
22 days ago

Great! We need competition in our HS punter room!
H2P!!!

Rooster
Rooster
22 days ago
Reply to  kevin

Thanks for the encouraging post Kevin.

Eli
Eli
22 days ago

If he has four functioning limbs he ought to be able to beat out Junko.

DL
DL
22 days ago

Cam Guess is so forgotten they’re calling him Caleb now.

Menotyou
Menotyou
22 days ago

If Junko doesn’t turn it around we will lose at least one due to the punt game next year.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
22 days ago

YES!!!!! Start ordering the ACC championship rings!

srs28704
srs28704
22 days ago

The Special Teams coordinator and Surgeon will take some freezing cold baths with him, oh wait that happens elsewhere.
I have a tough time believing Junko averaged over 41, he had some world class shanks.
The Aussie freshmen we ran off kicked one opposite foot two years ago but got a couple blocked.

Menotyou
Menotyou
21 days ago

At least he knows if he is injured they won’t throw him in there as fodder. Unlike your hero.

T Vax
T Vax
21 days ago

with the glaringly bad performance at QB and punter position and the playing time persistence with each, is anyone convinced a Narduzzi led hodgepodge team is going to rebound significantly(which it more than needs to) from the 3-9 disaster? 41.6? I’d have honestly guessed closet to 31.6 and probably correct for when it mattered Junko should never see the field and should never get another dime of scholly at Pitt the Duzz takes another big step toward the door this year if Pitt ends up not making a good bowl – I was going to just say “making a bowl”… Read more »

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