|6 Kurt Benkert|
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
Big-Play Offense, Turnover-Producing Defense Highlight First Scrimmage
Pirates Open Second Week Of Drills In Shells
A young, but talented and polished signal-caller who finished spring drills listed as Shane Carden's top understudy heading into his first campaign on the Pirates' active roster ... Completed a combined 26-of-39 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns during three scrimmages ... Was only intercepted once during spring action at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Was seven-of-14 for 100 yards in the opener on March 31, before connecting on 10-of-12 passes for 126 yards and a score in the second contest a week later ... Found DaQuan Barnes on a seven-yarder for his first TD of the spring ... Closed out action with a nine-of-13, 133-yard, two-TD effort in the Purple-Gold Game on April 12 ... Tossed scoring throws to Jimmy Williams (45 yards) and Cam Worthy (10 yards) ... In all, generated 22 first downs in 12 spring possessions ... Possesses an admirable work ethic in the strength and conditioning program to complement his on-the-field and video room commitment ... Topped all quarterbacks during spring testing with a bench press of 330 pounds, a 40-yard clip of 4.72, a pro shuttle time of 4.23 and a flexibility rating of 14.0 ... Also possesses a 9'0" broad jump to rank second.
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/2103 and spring/2014) since enrolling at ECU.