DURHAM, N.C. - Former Duke tight end Cooper Helfet has signed a free agent contract with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. Helfet participated in the Seahawks' rookie minicamp this past weekend at the organization's practice facility in Renton, Wash.
A native of Kentfield, Calif., Helfet twice earned honorable mention All-ACC honors as a Blue Devil. After catching 34 passes for 380 yards and two touchdowns in 2010, he hauled in 43 passes for 395 yards and four scores this past fall. Helfet's 43 grabs in 2011 matched the seventh-highest single-season total by a Duke tight end, and he paired with Conner Vernon (70 receptions) to establish the school single-season standard for combined receptions by a tight end-wide receiver (113), bettering the previous mark of 112 set in 1968 by Henley Carter and Wes Chesson.
In 2010, Helfet twice earned ACC Player of the Week honors following performances versus Navy (7 receptions, 69 yards) and Virginia (7 receptions, 122 yards, 1 TD). The 122 receiving yards against the Cavaliers rank as the fifth-highest single-game total by a tight end in Duke history. Despite playing just two seasons in Durham, Helfet's 77 career receptions stand as the ninth-highest total for a Blue Devil tight end while his six scoring receptions match the fifth-highest career total for Duke tight ends.
Helfet helped spearhead a Blue Devil passing attack that ranked second in the ACC in 2011 and became just the second Duke team to have four players with 40 or more receptions. A two-time Academic All-ACC choice, Helfet was named to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society earlier this month.