On New Year’s Eve, it appeared that Pitt had added a valuable piece to its roster, as former Michigan State safety Michael Dowell said that he would be transferring into the program. But on Thursday, Dowell made an additional announcement, backing off his pledge to Pitt and re-entering the transfer portal.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, I will not be attending the University of Pittsburgh,” Dowell said in a message posted on Twitter. “I am still in the transfer portal looking for a destination. I am a grad transfer [safety and outside linebacker] with two years of eligibility left. Contact me for further information.”
Dowell would have likely played a key role at Pitt, as he could have contributed at safety or linebacker. And with the Panthers’ linebacking corps depleted by the departures of Cam Bright, Phil Campbell, John Petrishen and Chase Pine, it’s likely the transfer would have slotted in at linebacker. But with Dowell in the portal, Pitt is a bit thin at the position.
Last season, Dowell came up with 40 tackles, including one tackle for a loss, and three pass breakups as a safety at Michigan State. He has two years of eligibility remaining and will continue his search for a new program. As for Pitt, the program will likely look to add to its depth at linebacker in the near future.