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Monday, July 7, 2014

KU senior LB Ben Heeney named to Bednarik watch list

Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney chases down Texas Tech receiver Eric Ward after a catch during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney chases down Texas Tech receiver Eric Ward after a catch during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.

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The Maxwell Football Club announced Monday that Kansas University senior linebacker Ben Heeney had been named to the 2014 Chuck Bednarik Award preliminary watch list.

Given to college football's Defensive Player of the Year since 1995, the Bednarik Award is named after Chuck Bednarik, a former defensive standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles a member of both the College Football and the NFL Halls of Fame.

Heeney, a senior from Hutchinson, Kan., missed a pair of games in the middle of the 2013 season, but still finished with a team-best 88 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss and the first three interceptions of his career.

Heeney, a co-captain and unquestioned leader of the KU defense in 2013, was selected as an a second-team All-Big 12 pick by the Associated Press and the conference coaches last season and finished fourth in the Big 12 with 8.7 tackles per game and fifth in tackles-for-loss per game with 1.15. He reached double figures in tackles in six of his 10 games played, including four Big 12 contests.

Heeney burst on to the scene in 2012 with 112 tackles in his first season as a starter for the Jayhawks. His 112 tackles included 66 solo stops. He led KU with 12.0 tackles-for-loss and added one sack.

The watch list includes 76 members hand-picked by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes both past performance and future potential. Semifinalists for the award will be announced Nov. 3, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 24. The winners for the 2014 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 11.

Heeney and the rest of the Jayhawks will kick off the 2014 season on Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State at 6 p.m., at Memorial Stadium.

Comments

Michael Leiker 8 years, 5 months ago

This defense on paper is shaping up like the 2006 team. Defensive backfield one of the best in the conference, some serious bright spots at Linebacker and DL. In my book, 2006 was one of the most fun years we've had in recent memory. Only thing missing is a coach who absolutely demanded excellence in tackling. Those guys got people on the ground. If this team can take on that attitude the sky is the limit on this side of the ball.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 5 months ago

I don't think this defense is comparable to the 2006 defense, but Campo and Bowen absolutely have it headed in the right direction.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 5 months ago

that 2006 defense was 4 stops away from carrying the team to a 10-2 record with very little offensive firepower. Our best offensive play was the shovel pass to Jon Cornish or the option QB run play by Kerry Meier.

That team only gave up something like 30 yards rushing per game, and the pass defense was good too. A solid, solid defense.

Michael Leiker 8 years, 5 months ago

Just saying, I think we're in for a special performance on that side of the ball this year.

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