News

A Closer Look at Linebacker Ben Heeney

Posted May 8, 2015

With Rookie-Mini-Camp set to begin today, get to know LB Ben Heeney a little better.

The Raiders selected LB Ben Heeney in the fifth round (No. 140 overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Heeney finished his career as a Jayhawk with 335 total tackles, which is eighth best in Kansas University history, and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team in 2014.

With Rookie Mini-Camp set to begin today, let’s get to know the Overland Park, Kan., native a little better.

HIS PRODUCTION WAS NOTICED

During his senior campaign in 2014, Heeney started all 12 games for Kansas, notching 125 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 12.0 tackles for loss.

While the team didn’t find a lot of success in the win column, Heeney’s productivity and effort didn’t go unnoticed as he earned a plethora of awards, including All-Big 12 First Team, Honorable Mention Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Fourth-Team All-America (Phil Steele Magazine).

HE’S HAPPY TO BE A RAIDER

Hearing his name called on Day 3 of the NFL Draft was a dream come true for Heeney and his family, and now that he’s officially a Raider, he couldn’t be happier.

“Man, it’s everything and more,” said Heeney during a conference call after he was drafted. “This is what I’ve been working toward since I was in third grade, man. Just having my family and friends around me when it happened, it was so special. Everyone started crying and it’s just what I’ve been working toward since I was in third grade and started playing football. Never in a million years did I think I would be an Oakland Raider, but I couldn’t be more happy to be one.”

BEN HEENEY: JACK OF ALL TRADES

During his time in Lawrence, Heeney showed his versatility on the football field – something General Manager Reggie McKenzie puts a high priority on.

As Heeney prepares for the next chapter of his football career, he’s willing to do whatever he needs to do to make an impact for the Silver and Black.

“I think I can play anything,” he said. “I think I can play Mike, Will – I really think I can play anything and be productive and be a guy that you guys can count on. More than anything, I’m ready to come in and pave my way on special teams and try to be a guy is a four[-unit] special teams starter. I think I can start on every special team right away and eventually work my way up and become a contributing factor on defense.”

BASEBALL IS GOOD, BUT FOOTBALL IS BETTER

Ben grew up in a baseball household, as his dad and two of his uncles all played baseball at KU. While he excelled at baseball growing up, Heeney’s true love was football.

“As a little kid, baseball was my best sport – baseball and football,” Heeney said. “My dad and everyone else always thought I had a chance to play in the major leagues for baseball. It’s always been between baseball and football, but football is my number one love. I like hitting people. I’m excited to be a part of the Raider defense.”

LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT BEARD

Standing at 6’1” and weighing in at 231 pounds, Heeney looks the part of an NFL linebacker, especially with his trademark beard he has had since his sophomore year of college.

Don’t think it’s an accident the beard looks that good though.

“There’s beard upkeep,” Ben said with a laugh. “There’s beard oil that I use. I shampoo it every day; you have to keep it clean. I started this beard my sophomore year at KU. I had it and it was just kind of a thing that everyone kind of recognized me for my beard. It’s just part of my image and I think it’ll keep it for a while.”