LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney added two more preseason recognitions to his resume as the senior landed on both the Rotary Lombardi Award and Butkus Award Preseason Watch Lists, announced by each award committee Monday morning.
The Rotary Lombardi Award and the Butkus Award are members of the National Collegiate Football Awards Association (NCFAA) and are presented to outstanding players on the field at their respective positions. Specifically, the Butkus Award recognizes the most outstanding collegiate linebacker, while the Rotary Lombardi Award pays tribute to the college lineman of the year, including linebackers who set up no further than five yards off the line of scrimmage.
A senior from Hutchinson, Kansas, Heeney missed a pair of games in the middle of the 2013 conference slate, but still finished with a team-best 88 total stops, including 11.5 tackles for loss and the first three interceptions of his career. Heeney, honored as an All-Big 12 Second Team selection by the Associated Press and the conference coaches last season, was fourth in the conference with 8.7 tackles per game and ranked 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.
In 2012, Heeney burst on to the scene 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. He also was credited with two pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble.
Heeney has racked up six preseason honors leading up to the 2014 season opener against Southeast Missouri State (Sept. 6) at Memorial Stadium, as he was named preseason First-Team All-Big 12 by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele Magazine, and was selected to the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch lists last week.