Heeney and Sims Honored by Phil Steele Magazine

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas junior linebacker Ben Heeney and senior halfback James Sims continue to pick up honors as each was lauded by Phil Steele Magazine in its release of its 2013 All-Big 12 selections. Heeney snagged first team All-Big 12 honors, while Sims landed on the publication’s second team.

Heeney, who hails from Hutchinson, Kan., missed a pair of games in the middle of the 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, selected as an All-Big 12 Second Team selection by the Associated Press, the conference coaches, Athlon, San Antonio Express-News and Waco Tribune-Herald, was fourth in the conference with 8.7 tackles per game and ranked fifth in tackles-for-loss per game with 1.15. Heeney reached double figures in tackles in six of his 10 games played, including four Big 12 contests. 

Sims was the Big 12’s leading rusher in conference games with 92.1 yards per contest and finished the 2013 campaign with a league-best 1,110 yards overall. That mark made Sims the first player in Kansas history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Sims rushed for at least 70 yards in nine of 12 games this season, including a career-best 211 and three touchdowns in KU’s win over West Virginia.

A senior from Irving, Texas, Sims closed his Kansas career among the leaders in several categories. Sims’ 3,592 rushing yards rank third on KU’s all-time charts, his 34 career rushing touchdowns is second, and his breakout performance against the Mountaineers was the 15th-best single-game rushing total by a Kansas player.

Kansas finished the 2013 season with a 3-9 overall record, including the team’s first win over a Big 12 Conference opponent since 2010, and went right to work building for next season with the hiring of offensive coordinator and offensive line coach John Reagan from Conference USA champion Rice earlier in December.

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