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New Pitt Punter Cade Dowd Coming in to Compete for Starting Job



Pitt punter Cade Dowd

Cade Dowd just wanted a chance once he decided to leave Coffeyville Community College after two seasons. He started sending out emails and one of the coaches he heard back from was Jacob Bronowski.

It was an instant connection.

Dowd — a 6-foot-1, 225-pound punter from Corpus Cristi, Tx. — made it out to Pittsburgh at the end of the week, spending time with Bronowski and checking out the facilities, and it only cemented his feeling that Pitt was where he needed to be.

He’s excited for the opportunity. Bronowski wow’d Dowd with his knowledge, but the chance to come in and compete with returning starter Caleb Junko was a major draw.

Pitt has had its fair share of putting woes over the last couple of seasons. It’s been somewhat of a revolving door since long-term starter Kirk Christodoulou graduated after the 2021 season. Sam Vander Haar struggled in the 2022 season, which led to both Junko and Cam Guess getting an opportunity to kick, and he left after the 2022 season.

Junko won a camp battle against former Pitt walk-on Jeff Yurk, who exited the program after Junko was named the starter before the 2023 season, but Junko was up-and-down last season.

Junko averaged 41.6 yards per punt in 2023, but his inconsistency hurt the Panthers on multiple occasions last season. But Bronowski remained supportive throughout the spring.

“Junko has punted over a hundred balls, and we’ve charted probably 150, and he’s doing a really, really outstanding job,” Bronowski said in April.

Regardless, Dowd was brought in with a clear need. Pitt couldn’t just run it back with Junko returning as the unchallenged starter. Dowd looks forward to the growth of the entire room through competition.

Dowd is coming off a two-season stint at Coffeyville, with two seasons of eligibility remaining, and he was effective at the JUCO level. He averaged 36.8 yards per punt (second in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference) on 35 punts. He pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 12 times and booted his longest ball 66 yards — earning All-KJCCC honors.

The well-regarded Kohl’s gave Dowd a 4.5-star rating, ranked as the 15th-ranked punter in the transfer class, writing:

“This spring at the Kohl’s Western Showcase, Dowd once again showed he is continuing to progress. This time, he also showed his unique ability to punt outside the pocket with his roll-out punts by posting the highest roll-out score of the event. Cade Dowd bumped up to a 4.5-star rating with his performance at the 2024 Kohl’s Transfer Showcase, showing his improvement. The punter posted a 40-yard punt average with a best punt of 49 yards. At the Texas Showcase, he stepped up under pressure and won the final punt competition at the event. He has shown improvement with each event over the past year and would be a good addition for a program looking for a versatile punter inside and outside the pocket.”

Dowd will arrive this summer and work into the punting unit alongside Junko and Cam Guess, and if he can adapt quickly, he has a legitimate chance to make an impact in 2024.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
17 days ago

If he came in to be a backup we’d have a problem.

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