A couple of days late on this but in case you missed it, Pitt's football team added a recruit for 2017 this week in punter Kirk Christodoulou.
Obviously there's not usually a ton of interest around punters and kickers signing. But they're still important parts of winning games and Christodoulou will serve a position of need as they are set to loseafter the 2017 season. If everything goes according to plan, will serve as the team's starter for his senior year in 2017 while Christodoulou redshirts and then takes the job in 2018.
He's already graduated from high school, so the team could have technically added him this year. But that would have made little sense so they're already tight on space and he probably wouldn't play until 2018. By coming in for 2017, he'll have four years of eligibility and potentially as the team's starter, assuming he redshirts next season.
Christodoulou comes to Pitt from Australia and PantherLair has a good rundown on how he got here as part of a special program to groom kickers and punters:
"All of this came from joining a program called Prokick Australia run by Nathan Chapman and John Smith. It's a program in Australia that helps develop Australian athletes to be able to punt and kick footballs," Christodoulou explained.
Christodoulou joined Prokick Australia two years ago and following his high school graduation in December of 2015, it has been non-stop, full-time training. The program works every today, and frequently twice a day, to prepare their punters for American football. Prokick took its players on an extensive American tour through schools like Pitt, Penn State, USC, Maryland, and Ohio State and will continue doing so until flying back to Australia on July 24th.
As the article notes, the program is more than an experiment. It's been very successful with dozens of college and NFL kickers coming from it.
Christodoulou graduated in December 2015 and has been training ever since. Hopefully by the time he finishes training this year and then gets on campus next season, he'll be ready to go. While the plan is to probably play him in 2018, he could be only an injury away from playing as a true freshman next year.
And if watching punting practice is your thing, here's a look at him in action (set to Hotel California - no, really):