East Carolina

Kurt Benkert is ECU’s starting quarterback, coach Ruffin McNeill says

Staff report

East Carolina quarterback Kurt Benkert responds to a question during the team's NCAA college football media day in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
East Carolina quarterback Kurt Benkert responds to a question during the team's NCAA college football media day in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. AP

ECU has named sophomore Kurt Benkert its starting quarterback, coach Ruffin McNeill said in a release Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ve had great competition at that position so far, but we felt it was time to name a starter to move forward with our preparations for the season,” McNeill said. “While Kurt will have the first opportunity, we feel very good about the capabilities of Blake (Kemp), Cody (Keith) and John (Jacobs). Like anyone else in our program at all other positions, Kurt will need to keep progressing and continue to earn the job throughout the year.”

Benkert played in three games as a redshirt freshman behind record-setting performer Shane Carden in 2014, completing 8-of-10 passes for 58 yards.

Kemp, a junior transfer who was redshirted last year, will be the backup, McNeill said.

ECU opens the season Sept. 5 at home against Towson.

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