Austin Kurke talks visit to Navy

Austin Kurke is being hotly pursed by a number of Division 1 programs including Air Force and Army, but Navy was the first to receive an official visit from the 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end from El Segundo (Calif.) High School. Despite the cross-country flight to Annapolis, Kurke got to enjoy the Midshipmen's dramatic comeback win against Indiana.

"I only got two hours of sleep taking the red eye solo," said Austin Kurke. "I felt like I was going to fall asleep at the game, but woke up when Navy got the one-point win. It was exciting and I really enjoyed watching the players. They're well-sprinted guys who really get after it on the field. One of the kickers, Stephen Picchini, lives right down the street from me.

"My host was Mason Graham, a former player. After the game, we took a tour of the locker room. When dinner was over I went back to the hotel to catch up on some sleep. The next day we toured the the campus, athletic facility, and the area around the perimeter of the academy. There were three other guys there on official visits. We're all defense players. Two were from Georgia and one was from South Florida. We left to go back home after lunch."

Navy likes Kurke at defensive end although some schools are recruiting him at tight end. In eight games at El Segundo, Kurke has 80 tackles, nine sacks, a pass breakup, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick. Before he left Annapolis, Kurke had a chance to sit down with Shaun Nua, the defensive line coach.

"On Sunday, we got to meet with all of the coaches to get to know each other. I really liked Coach Nua. We talked me coming in directly next year and competing for playing time. We also talked about plays for the defensive end and they made a lot of sense to me. I think it would be a good fit for me and my style of play. I can definitely see myself playing there for the next four years."

Previously, Kurke had stated that he wants to take all five of his official visits prior to making a commitment, but that may not necessarily be the case. He holds offers from Air Force, Army, Arizona State, Utah, and South Dakota State.

"I'd like to take official visits to Army, Utah, and possibly Hawaii," Kurke stated. "I just spoke to the Hawaii coaches about it. It's possible, though, I could be making a commitment as early as this week."

Kurke would like to study Business or Engineering in college. He reports his GPA and college placement exam score were high enough for an acceptance into the Naval Academy, but still must send in his letters of recommendation. Kurke, who also runs track at El Segundo, will graduate in June of 2013.
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