Kurt Benkert and Packers teammates help host YouTube skills event in Green Bay
GREEN BAY - With snow on the ground and a chill in the air, in the shadow of Lambeau Field, it was an ideal Wisconsin night for football. That’s exactly what Kurt Benkert was hoping for. The Green Bay Packers quarterback had lured popular YouTuber Donald De La Haye Jr., known online as Deestroying, north to put on one of Haye’s football skills events.
“I (direct messaged) him and we talked a while back about coming up to Titletown or this area when it was snow on the ground to a little bit more of a lighthearted version of what he does,” Benkert said. “So we tried to put a little bit of something of that together tonight just to have the community out and really kind of enjoy what’s been going on this year.”
Haye is a former punter for the UCF Knights and famously fought the NCAA when the college athletics oversight organization told the punter he couldn’t profit off of his YouTube channel. Now in addition to keeping up vlogs on his life, Haye travels the country, putting on skill events to help highlight high school talent.
Wanting to show off some of the homegrown Wisconsin talent, Benkert reached out and asked Haye to travel to Green Bay. The two pushed the event on social media and even after a late location change just hours before, a large crowd showed up in the Titletown district. After expecting only 60-70 kids, closer to 300 arrived. Some were there to participate, some just to watch and all wanted a moment with Benkert and the Packers teammates who came to watch.
Corner Eric Stokes, receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown and safety Shawn Davis all came out to support the event and take in the talent. While Benkert was the primary participant, even stepping in to act as quarterback for the drills, Stokes and Davis couldn’t help themselves at times, leaning in to give defensive backs tips and coaching before a few drills.
After two hours, one final duo stepped up for the drill. With a ring of spectators creating the boundary, both receiver and DB took off down the Titletown football field. Benkert lofted the ball downfield, the high school receiver leaped, pulled down the one-handed grab and kicked up the snow as he landed.
The crowd erupted. It was exactly what Benkert wanted to help Haye highlight: a perfect Wisconsin night for football.