After a breakout sophomore season, Kansas junior linebacker Ben Heeney is receiving some national attention.
Heeney, who led the Jayhawks with 112 tackles last season, joined K-State junior center B.J. Finney on the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list, which was announced on Monday.
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The Lombardi Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best down lineman or linebacker that plays near the line of scrimmage, casts a wide net. And Heeney and Finney were among a national list of 107 names, including 12 from the Big 12.
Heeney was KU’s most reliable defender in 2012, adding 12 tackles for loss and one sack to his kamikaze style. He won second-team All-12 honors.
Finney, meanwhile, is also a candidate for the Rimington and Outland trophies after starting 26 games the last two seasons. He is the first K-State offensive lineman to be a candidate for three major college football awards since Nick Leckey in 2003.