Inside LB Countdown: Heeney’s Career Notes

Here is a look at the statistical milestones and career accolades of Ben Heeney, just the third player in Kansas history to lead the team in tackles three times. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY)

Here is a look at the career of Kansas’ Ben Heeney, the ninth-ranked inside linebacker in this year’s draft, according to league rankings assembled by the NFL’s head scout, Dave-Te’ Thomas.


Heeney started 34-of-46 games at Kansas, where he registered 335 tackles (214 solos) with 4.5 sacks for minus 27 yards, 35.5 stops for losses of 104 yards and seven quarterback pressures…Also recovered one fumble, caused three others, deflected seven passes and gained 71 yards via four interception returns.

NCAA Career-Record Results: Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, Heeney ranks seventh with 214 solo tackles and 17th with 335 total tackles…His 35.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage placed 19th within the group.

School Career-Record Results: Heeney’s 335 tackles rank eighth in school history, placing behind Willie Pless (633; 1982-85), Nick Reid (416; 2002-05), Rck Bredesen (403; 1984-87), Kyle McNorton (381; 1978-81), Curtis Moore (350; 186-87, 90), LeRoy Irvin (347; 1976-79) and Mike Sweatman (341; 1965-67)…His 35.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage rank fourth on the all-time list, surpassed by Willie Pless (41.0), Nick Reid (40.0) and Jim Zidd (40.0; 1977-79).

School Season-Record Results: Heeney’s 127 tackles in 2014 rank 11th on the school season-record chart and are the most by a Jayhawk since Nick Reid totaled 133 hits in 2003…Heeney became just the third player in school history to lead the team in tackles three times (112 in 2012; 88 in 2013; 127 in 2014), joining Willie Pless (188 in 1983; 206 in 1984; 191 in 1985) and Nick Reid (133 in 2003; 109 in 2004; 112 in 2005).

School Game-Record Results: Heeney’s 21 tackles vs. Texas Tech in 2014 tied LeRoy Irvin (vs. Missouri, 11-22-79), Scellars Young (vs. Colorado, 10-7-78) and Emery Hicks (vs. Oklahoma, 11-9-68) for ninth on the school game-record list. The record is 25 tackles, shared by Curtis Moore (vs. Iowa State, 10-22-88), Willie Pless (vs. Oklahoma St., 10-20-84) and Steve Towle (vs. Colorado, 11-9-74).



Heeney was named fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele Magazine…The finalist for Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors, he was selected as a unanimous All-Big 12 first-team pick…Voted a team captain for the second-straight season, the senior middle linebacker was invited to play in the 2015 East-West Shrine Game following the season...Started all twelve games, becoming just the third player in school history to lead the team in tackles three times, as he posted a career-high 127 tackles (88 solos) with 1.5 sacks, 12 stops for losses of 39 yards and four quarterback pressures, as he also recovered a fumble, caused two others, deflected one pass and returned an interception 37 yards…Led the NCAA and Big 12 in solo tackles with 7.3 per outing…Registered at least 10 tackles in seven of his appearances.


Recorded the 2014 Big 12 single-game high 21 tackles at Texas Tech – 17 of which were solo tackles - marking the second-most in a single game in conference history and tied for ninth-best on the team record chart…Opened his senior campaign with a team-high 11 tackles vs. Southeast Missouri and collected 15 tackles, tying a then-career-high, and posted one tackle-for-loss at Duke...Boasted seven solo tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage and a forced fumble vs. Central Michigan...Totaled 10 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, one quarterback hurry and one fumble recovery vs. Texas...Posted six tackles and two tackles-for-loss at West Virginia...Logged a game-high 14 tackles and a sack to go with 3.5 tackles for loss vs. Oklahoma State...Recorded his sixth double-digit tackling effort of 2014 with 10 tackles and carried the ball once for no gain at Baylor... Garnered seven tackles vs. Iowa State and led the field with 11 total tackles vs. Texas Christian…Contributed nine tackles - including one behind the line of scrimmage - forced a fumble and recorded one quarterback hurry at Oklahoma...Provided six tackles and one stop in the backfield at Kansas State.


Heeney received All-Big 12 Conference second-team honors from the league’s coaches, Associated Press, San Antonio Express-News, Athlon Sports and the Waco Tribune-Herald after he finished fourth in the conference with 8.7 tackles per game and ranked fifth in tackles-for-loss per game with 1.15…Started ten games at middle line-backer, missing the Oklahoma and Baylor games with a knee injury…Finished with a team-best 88 tackles (55 solos), including 11.5 stops for losses totaling 34 yards and the first three interceptions of his career…Reached double figures in tackles in six of his ten games played, including four Big 12 contests.


Turned in a season-best 15 tackles at Rice, as he also had a sack, two stops-for-loss and two pass break-ups...Had his first career interception to go along with 10 tackles and one pass break-up vs. Louisiana Tech...Led KU with 12 tackles, including seven solos, in the Texas Tech contest, as he recorded an interception for the second-straight game and also had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage vs. the Red Raiders...Left the Texas Christian contest after he suffered a knee injury making a tackle in the backfield…Came back to post a team-high nine tackles vs. Texas...Led KU with 11 tackles, including two for losses and a quarterback hurry at Oklahoma State...Had four tackles, plus an interception which he returned 28 yards in KU’s win over West Virginia...Tallied 11 tackles and one quarterback hurry at Iowa State...Led the Jayhawks with 10 tackles vs. Kansas State, including 1.5 stops-for-loss.


Heeney garnered All-Big 12 Conference second-team honors by the league’s coaches as well as the Associated Press and Phil Steele Magazine...Started all twelve games at middle linebacker, as he ranked third in the league in total tackles (112) and tackles per game (9.3)...Also ranked fifth in the league in tackles-for-loss (12.0), good for minus 31 yards...Also had a sack, a forced fumble and two pass break-ups...Produced five games with double-digit tackles.


As a true freshman, Heeney appeared in all twelve contests, seeing time on defense as well as special teams...Finished with eight tackles (5 solos).


2013 Season: Heeney suffered a knee sprain making a tackle in the backfield early in the Texas Christian contest, missing the final three quarters vs. the Horned Frogs and the Jayhawks’ next two games, vs. Oklahoma and Baylor.


Height: 6-foot 1/4. Weight: 231 pounds.

4.59 in the 40-yard dash…1.61 10-yard dash…2.71 20-yard dash…4.00 20-yard shuttle…11.06 60-yard shuttle…6.68 three-cone drill…33 1/2-inch vertical jump…10’-00” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times…30 3/4-inch arm length…9-inch hands…74 3/8-inch wingspan.

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