Heeney Named Phil Steele Midseason All-American, Five Jayhawks Pick Up All-Conference Honors
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Phil Steele Magazine honored Kansas senior linebacker Ben Heeney with third team All-America recognition at the midway point of the year as the publication released its midseason squads Friday afternoon. In addition, Heeney was one of five Jayhawks to earn All-Big 12 honors from the magazine.
Heeney’s honor comes on the heels of eight preseason awards in 2014, including a preseason All-America selection by the same publication. The two-time All-Big 12 honoree also was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team by the league office and both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele Magazine, and was selected to preseason watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik, Butkus and Rotary Lombardi awards, as well as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
The Hutchison, Kansas, native has led Kansas in tackles in four of its first six games and has turned in double-digit tackles in 4-of-6 contests in 2014. He now has accumulated 15 double-figure tackling performances in his career.
Compared to the rest of the country, Heeney ranks first in the Big 12 and sixth nationally in solo tackles, averaging 6.8 stops on his own per game. He holds the No. 2 spot in the conference in total tackles with 10.5 per game, which lands him 19th in the country.
In addition, the two-time team captain leads the Big 12 and ranks seventh in the nation with 1.7 tackles for loss per game.
Joining Heeney as a first team All-Big 12 honoree at the midseason by Phil Steele Magazine was senior tight end Jimmay Mundine and senior punter Trevor Pardula.
Mundine, a native of Denison, Texas, leads all Big 12 tight ends with 212 yards receiving on 16 receptions. He recorded a career-best 88-yards on five catches in KU’s last outing against Oklahoma State.
Pardula is averaging a Big 12 best 44.8 yards per punt and has booted 18-of-45 punts 50 yards or longer. The San Jose, California, native has dropped 16 of his 45 punts inside the 20-yard line and has allowed only seven touchbacks.
A pair of Jayhawks earned second team All-Big 12 as junior safety Isaiah Johnson was tabbed as a safety and senior Nick Harwell was named as a punt returner.
Johnson, who hails from Cary, North Carolina, ranks second on the team with 37 tackles, including 29 solo stops. He has one interception to his credit as he saved a touchdown in KU’s game at West Virginia, returning the interception 29 yards.
Harwell ranks second in the Big 12 Conference in punt returns with 26.4 yards per return on five returns, including his 76-yard return for a touchdown in KU’s game at West Virginia. Harwell finished the West Virginia game with 84 yards on two punt returns, earning him College Football Performance Awards punt returner of the week honors.
The Jayhawks trek to Lubbock, Texas, for a conference matchup Saturday, Oct. 18, against Texas Tech. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Net.
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