By the end of the 2014 season the Jayhawk's Ben Heeney could have another trophy in his case, the most prestigious trophy for a defensive player in fact. On Monday The Maxwell Football Club announced that Heeney is on the preliminary watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award. The award goes to the top defensive player each season.
Chuck Bednarik was an offense’s worst nightmare in college at Penn and at the NFL level with the Philadelphia Eagles. In his 14 seasons, Bednarik missed only three games. The ferocious linebacker and center played in eight pro bowls and was named nine times to the All-NFL team. Since first awarded in 1995, the likes of Julius Peppers, Ndamukong Suh and Charles Woodson have collected the trophy.
Heeney, a senior linebacker from Hutchinson, Kansas, finished the 2012 season with 112 tackles, including 12 tackles-for-loss. Building on his sophomore season, Heeney was named by the Associated Press to the All Big-12 Second Team. In six out of ten games Heeney finished with at least ten tackles and led the team with 88 total stops.
Heeney is one of 76 named to the preliminary watch list. That list will be narrowed down to the final three defensive players on November 24th and the winner will be announced at the Home Depot Football Awards Show on December 11th.
Jayhawk football looks to turn their program in the right direction in 2014
The Jayhawk football season kicks off September 6th at Memorial Stadium when they host Southeast Missouri State at 6 pm. KU will begin Big 12 play on September 27 in Lawrence against the Texas Longhorns.