Jayhawks' Heeney Becomes Defensive Leader

By: Geoffry Calvet, Associated Press
By: Geoffry Calvet, Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ From overlooked to a defensive star, linebacker Ben Heeney is prepared to lead Kansas into its season opener against South Dakota on Saturday night.

The junior from Hutchinson, Kan., barely played as a freshman before blossoming last season. He made 112 tackles and 12 tackles for loss, and is the Jayhawks' top returning tackler.

His experience should come in handy, too. Kansas has a slew of junior college transfers populating the defense as coach Charlie Weis tries to improve on a 1-11 finish last season.

Heeney dismissed the notion that he's become the leader of the defense, insisting that it takes all 11 players to make a stand. But despite having just one year of real playing time under his belt, he was voted a team captain by his peers.

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