UVA's Benkert ready to excel this fall
This is Kurt Benkert's first spring as a member of the Virginia football team. The rising senior quarterback was still at East Carolina when the Cavaliers were enduring their first spring workouts under Bronco Mendenhall and his staff a year ago.
Benkert transferred to UVA last summer after graduating from East Carolina, then earned the Cavaliers' starting quarterback job in preseason camp. He started 10 games and came off the bench in another, finishing the season with more than 25 hundred passing yards -- good for sixth in a single season in UVA history -- with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Having him in camp this spring should benefit the entire offense.
"We went through that process last year, of developing him, his first starts and experience, building that," said Virginia Quarterbacks Coach, Jason Beck. "He went through some ups and some downs, as every season brings, and having been through those battles, you approach this spring with a whole different mindset than you would without that playing experience."
And Benkert says he's playing with a good mindset.
"I feel like it's just, I'm out here having fun," said Benkert. "Not that I wasn't having fun before, but my mind is free. I know what my job is. I know what I need to do. And I know what my teammates need from me. And I know that for me, I have to play at my best, and we're going to win games, but it all comes down to me."