ECU Press Release
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina sophomore quarterback Kurt Benkert, who was named the Pirates' starter on Aug. 19, will be sidelined during the 2015 season because of a right knee injury according to an announcement from head football coach Ruffin McNeill on Wednesday.
Benkert experienced discomfort after practice Tuesday which prompted additional evaluations and testing Wednesday morning that revealed the specific nature of his injury.
"Everyone in college football is affected by injuries and we are no different," McNeill said. "I am disappointed for Kurt because he has worked so hard for this opportunity. We've got a lot of talent on this team and we'll be asking everyone to step up."
He played in three games as a redshirt freshman behind Shane Carden in 2014, completing eight-of-10 passes for 58 yards and suffering one interception. He also scored a pair of touchdowns on five carries.
Junior Blake Kemp, who was redshirted a year ago after transferring into the ECU program from Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, will compete with junior Cody Keith for the starting position in the wake of Benkert's diagnosis. Keith returned to action Tuesday after missing two weeks of preseason camp because of a foot injury.