Kansas University football seniors Ben Heeney and Trevor Pardula ended their careers as members of the All-Big 12 First Team, the conference announced Monday.
Heeney, a linebacker from Hutchinson, Kansas, was tabbed a second team honoree by the Associated Press as both a sophomore and a junior. Pardula, who is a punter from San Jose, California, was recognized for the first time in his career.
Kansas had two players receive second team All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press, as well, in seniors Jimmay Mundine and JaCorey Shepherd. Mundine, a tight end from Denison, Texas, was honored by the Associated Press for the second time in his career as he received honorable mention honors as a sophomore. Shepherd, a cornerback who hails from Mesquite, Texas, was tabbed for the first time in his career.
Heeney finished the 2014 season with 127 total tackles, just one shy of the Big 12 lead. He led the NCAA and Big 12 in solo stops, with 7.3 per outing. Heeney recorded the 2014 Big 12 single-game high of 21 tackles in KU's game at Texas Tech, including 17 solo tackles — the second-most in a game in conference history.
Heeney finished his final season in a KU uniform with seven double-digit tackling performances to go along with 12.0 tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, four quarterback hurries, one pass breakup, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Pardula led the Big 12 in punting in 2014, averaging 44.3 yards per kick. He recorded 29 punts of 50 yards or longer on the year, including a game at Duke where he booted the ball 70 yards or more twice. Pardula dropped 24 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard and finished the year with 83 punts, which ranks second-most in Kansas single-season history.
Mundine was the Kansas leader in both receptions (45) and receiving yards (584) on the year. He averaged 13.0 yards per catch and scored three touchdowns in his final year as a Jayhawk. A John Mackey Award semifinalist, Mundine set the KU single-game record for receiving yards by a tight end with his 137-yard performance in the Jayhawks' win over Iowa State. Of his 45 receptions on the season, 33 resulted in first downs for the Kansas offense.
Shepherd led the Big 12 Conference and ranked third nationally with 19 passes defended on the year. Among his 19 passes defended, were 16 pass breakups and he also had a team-leading three interceptions. Shepherd's six passes defended in KU's win over Iowa State marked a season-high in the NCAA in 2014. Shepherd, a former wide receiver-turned cornerback, only allowed two passing touchdowns all season.