Six Jayhawks Earn Phil Steele Midseason All-Big 12 Honors
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney and punter/kicker Trevor Pardula were both named to the 2013 Phil Steele Midseason All-Big 12 First Team Wednesday afternoon, as a total of six KU football players were honored by the publication.
Heeney, a junior, leads KU and ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 43 tackles on the season. He also has a team-best 7.0 tackles-for-loss, which ranks fourth in the conference, including 2.0 sacks. Additionally, Heeney has intercepted two passes and tallied three pass breakups through five games.
Pardula, a junior, tops the Big 12 and ranks second nationally in punting, averaging 47.1 yards per punt. He set a Kansas record for punting average in a game after averaging 57.6 yards on five punts in KU’s win over Louisiana Tech. He recorded a career-long 78-yard punt in the third quarter versus the Bulldogs, which tied for eighth-longest in school history. Pardula has dropped eight punts inside the 20 and recorded 13 punts of 50 yards or more through five games.
Junior tight end Jimmay Mundine picked up second team honors. Mundine ranks fourth on the Kansas roster with 10 receptions, including three touchdown grabs. He is averaging 13.6 yards per reception on the season.
A trio of Jayhawks earned third team honors as halfbacks James Sims and Tony Pierson and punt returner Connor Embree were each recognized.
Sims, a senior, tops KU with 390 yards rushing on 87 carries. He has rushed for two scores, while also hauling in 12 catches for 82 yards. Sims currently ranks seventh in the Big 12 with 78.0 yards per game on the ground.
Pierson is the top Kansas pass catcher with 21 receptions for 327 yards and one touchdown in 2013. A junior from East St. Louis, Pierson’s 77-yard receiving TD is KU’s longest play from scrimmage this year.
Embree, a junior, is averaging 14.1 yards per punt return through the first five games of the year. Embree’s top game as a returner came in KU’s win over South Dakota as he tallied four punt returns for 92 yards. He returned a punt for 42 yards in the fourth quarter, the longest punt return by a Jayhawk since 2009.
Kansas returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 19, when it plays host to No. 18 Oklahoma. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., at Memorial Stadium, with a live broadcast on ESPN. Tickets are available via the Kansas ticket office by calling 800-34-HAWKS or by visiting KUAthletics.com.
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