Punter Benjamin Knerr Has Used The Discipline Of Football To Succeed Off The Field As Well

February 11, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Feb. 11, 2009

The average college student may spend four hours a day attending classes, the rest of the day can be used at their discretion. Some choose to spend it hanging out at the Student Center, relaxing in the dorm, or maybe participating in recreational sports. However, student-athletes such as Benjamin Knerr, a punter on the ODU football team, have a much more difficult task of balancing athletics and academics. Yet, Knerr and 88 other Monarch student-athletes were able to make their hard work in the classroom pay off last semester by being named to the Dean's List for having a grade point average of 3.4 or better.

Between lifting weights, practice and study hall, Knerr spent nearly six hours a day on football related activities during the fall, but he credits that with helping him succeed academically .

"When you're playing football and going to school you have to be even more disciplined because you don't have a lot of free time and you have to study that much harder," said Knerr. "Being on the team and having two hours of study hall every day helped me concentrate a lot more."

Knerr concentrated to the tune of a perfect 4.0 grade point average, no small accomplishment for any student, particularly one who majors in mechanical engineering and took classes such as Differential Equations, Dynamics, University Physics 2 and Material Science.

A native of Chesapeake where he played soccer and football at Indian River High School and was member of the National Honor Society, Knerr is following in the footsteps of his father Timothy. An electrical engineer, Timothy is a graduate of Old Dominion and was also a student-athlete as a member of the Monarchs tennis team.

"I always knew I wanted to major in engineering," adds Knerr. "I have always been good in math and science and that's what most of those students pursue, so during my sophomore year of high school I decided that's what I would do."

Knerr's academic and athletic performance at Indian River helped him find his way to Old Dominion on an academic scholarship. He received the Governor's Technology Scholarship, which provides $4,000 a year for up to four years for study in technology-related fields. High school students must have had a 3.25 GPA and a minimum 1100 SAT score with a math sub-score of 590 to qualify for the scholarship.

On the field, Knerr turned in a solid performance as well averaging better than 40 yards per punt during the Monarchs fall drills. That would have place him among the top 5 punters in the CAA last season, a good sign for the Monarchs as they prepare for their 2009 opener on Sept. 5.