|6 Kurt Benkert|
Sophomore Quarterback Sidelined By Knee Injury
Senior Receiver Scores Twice And Throws For Another
Sharp Passing Effort, Rush Defense Dominates Second Scrimmage
Defense Finishes Spring On Strong Note In Purple-Gold Scrimmage
Sharp Passing Effort, Physical Play Dominate Second Scrimmage
A talented and polished signal-caller whose arm strength perhaps already ranks among the best in the history of the Pirate program ... Also displays an unrivaled commitment to film study, a rigorous strength and conditioning regimen and a distinct devotion to academic success ... Opened spring drills in a three-man battle for the starting job and will enter fall camp with a slight edge for a top listing (on the depth chart) ... Despite lack of starting experience, still earned Preseason All-American Athletic Conference honors (fourth team) from Phil Steele Magazine ... Completed a combined 32-of-51 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns during three scrimmages ... Was only intercepted once during spring action at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Was 13-of-17 for 127 yards and a TD (40-yarder to Isaiah Jones) in the opener on March 28, before connecting on eight-of-17 passes for 153 yards and a score (12-yarder to Trevon Brown) in the second contest on April 11 ... Closed out action with an 11-of-17, 125-yard, one-touchdown effort in the Purple-Gold Game on April 18 (tossed scoring throw to Jones for 11 yards) ... In all, generated 22 first downs in 16 spring possessions ... Rates as a "freak" in strength and conditioning coach Jeff Connors' power quotient ... Topped all quarterbacks during spring testing with a bench press of 370 pounds, a back squat of 470 and power clean of 330, a 40-yard clip of 4.72, a pro shuttle time of 4.10 and a flexibility rating of 15.0 ... Also possesses a 9'5" broad jump and a 31" vertical leap.
2014: Appeared in three games (N.C. Central, North Carolina and Florida) in a reserve role ... Completed eight-of-10 passes for 58 yards and suffered one interception (N.C. Central) ... Rushed five times for 23 yards (4.6 ypr) and scored two touchdowns ... Reached paydirt on a nine-yard run in the opener against the Eagles and scored from four yards out versus the Tar Heels ... Led three scoring drives in five overall (full) series for the Pirates (two vs. N.C. Central, one vs. North Carolina) ... Three for five (60.0 percent) in red zone opportunities (3 TDs) ... Made collegiate debut against N.C. Central and directed the Pirate offense in the fourth quarter, completing six-of-eight passes for 50 yards ... Engineered a pair of long fourth quarter scoring drives starting inside the ECU 15-yard line vs. the Eagles ... Finished with 63 total yards of offense (50/pass, 13/rush) ... Career-long pass of 22 yards went to Jimmy Williams on second drive of the fourth quarter against N.C. Central ... Registered second personal ground score vs. No. 25 North Carolina in the fourth quarter ... Also completed both pass attempts against the Tar Heels (11-yard gain, three-yard loss) ... Opened collegiate career hitting just one-of-three in the air, but completed campaign completing seven-straight passes for 54 yards (5-5/46 yards vs. N.C. Central, 2-2/8 yards vs. North Carolina) ... Two of eight completions were for 10 or more yards (one for 20-plus) ... Made a brief appearance against the Gators in the Birmingham Bowl ... Picked up six yards on a second-and-goal rush in the second quarter before being hit at the line of scrimmage and having the ball stripped on the next snap to end a scoring opportunity with the Pirates trailing 21-7 at the time (in an eventual 28-20 loss) ... Did not attempt a pass against UF ... Recipient of the Jerry T. Brooks Award (recognizing academic achievement) during the annual team banquet.
2013: Redshirted during true freshman season, but took snaps and reps with top offensive unit on a full-time basis once top backup Cody Keith was lost to a season-ending injury ... Was also a member of the travel unit ... Officially enrolled early at ECU in January of 2013 and participated in spring drills to expedite the learning process of the Pirates' offensive scheme.
High School: Topped all Southwest Florida quarterbacks in passing yards with 2,261 as a senior at Island Coast High School ... Completed 147-of-236 passes (62.3 percent), which included 20 touchdown tosses and just four interceptions to help the Gators to an 8-3 overall record and 5-1 6A District 11 mark (co-champions with South Fort Myers) ... On the ground, rushed for 300 yards on 80 carries ... ICHS advanced to the Florida High School Athletic Association 6A playoffs, but fell to eventual final-four participant Naples in the first round ... Earned Third-Team 6A All-State honors from the Associated Press while also picking up First-Team All-Area recognition from the Fort Myers News-Press ... Transferred into head coach Joe Bowen's program as a senior (from Cape Coral High School) after the Gators changed their offensive scheme from the veer to a pro-style attack, and followed by averaging 34.4 points per game in 2012 ... Selected as the News-Press Player-of-the-Week (Oct. 12) after leading ICHS to a 55-0 victory over Bishop Verot ... Was listed 33rd on the Orlando Sentinel's MidWest Florida Super 60 list heading into his senior campaign ... Helped lead CCHS to a 7-5 record (5-0 in league play) as a junior, completing 189-of-367 passes for 2,771 yards, 25 TDs and seven interceptions ... Additionally, rushed 55 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns for coach Brad Metheny ... Also served as the Seahawks' punter, averaging 37.7 yards per boot with a long of 56 yards and 11 downed inside the 20-yard line ... Named to the News-Press All-Area First Team unit as a punter in 2011 ... An Honor Roll performer in the classroom.
Personal: Full name is Kurt John Benkert ... Born July 17, 1995 at Baltimore, Md. ... Moved to Florida before entering third grade and remained there until the start of eighth grade ... Returned to Maryland and helped lead Perry Hall to the state recreational football title and subsequently earned a scholarship to Loyola Blakefield (Towson) before moving back to Florida after two junior varsity seasons ... Quarterbacked the Fort Myers (Fla.) Firecats to a state championship and third-place finish in the national Pop Warner playoffs while in seventh grade ... A finance major who has earned Dean's List standing for work in the classroom during each semester (spring/2013, fall/2013, spring/2014, fall/2014, spring/2015) since enrolling at ECU ... Put together eye-catching video as a high school recruit, thus self-marketing skills and creativity (and ability to throw a football across the street into a mailbox) are on display via You Tube.