Vander Haar is an Australian punter that originally signed with Pitt
On Wednesday, the Cougars secured their first commitment from the transfer portal for the recruiting cycle. Sam Vander Haar, an Australian punter who played with Pitt in 2022, chose to transfer after the Spring ball last season.
As a true freshman at Pitt before the 2022 season, Vander Haar earned the starting punter position. Throughout that season, he punted 30 times, with an average distance of 38.5 yards per punt, and participated in all but two games.
Sam, originally from Melbourne, Australia, was a player of Australian rules football during his upbringing. Later, he joined the prestigious ProKick Australia punting program, known for producing top-notch punters in football, including notable NFL players like Mitch Wishnowsky, Michael Dickson, and Cameron Johnston. Following his training with ProKick, Vander Haar inked a deal with the Pitt Panthers.
Earlier this year, after the Spring camp, Vander Haar joined the transfer portal with three years of eligibility left. As he didn’t play in the last year, he retains three years of eligibility to contribute to BYU.
For the 2024 season, the Cougars may have to find a replacement for seasoned punter Ryan Rehkow. Recently honored with a spot on the All-Big 12 second team, Rehkow might explore opportunities in the NFL after this season. Despite this, he has not disclosed his future plans.
Interestingly, for the second year in a row, BYU’s initial transfer addition is a kicker. In the previous year, it was Will Ferrin from Boise State who became the first transfer to join BYU. Ferrin not only secured the starting placekicking position but also proved to be highly effective for BYU in 2023. He demonstrated consistency and notably kicked a long, game-tying field goal at the end of regulation against Oklahoma State, taking the game to overtime.