'UNGuarded': Meet Guardians' LB Ben Heeney
WALDWICK, N.J. -- Ben Heeney is the middle linebacker and signal caller for the New York Guardians defense. In high school, he was a star running back and safety for his team in Hutchinson, Kan., where he was a three-time state champion. During his senior year, he set school records for rushing yards and touchdowns.
Heeney then went to Kansas and played in all but two games during his four years in Lawrence. He was a starter for three of those seasons. Heeney was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He spent two years with the Raiders, then spent time with the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans.
The Guardians thought so highly of Heeney they chose him first in defensive front seven phase of the XFL Draft. (From the above clip you can see why.)
Although he appreciates the confidence from the front office, Heeney is all about the team and is looked at as a leader by the Guardians coaches and teammates.
On the field, Heeney will wear No. 56, which has significant meaning at his position in New York. When asked why he chose 56, Heeney explained his roommate and best friend from college wore No. 25, so he added his college number (31) and his roommate's together as a tribute.
Off the field, Heeney spends time with his family but also volunteers with suicide prevention efforts. Having never spent a great deal of time in the New York-New Jersey area, he is excited to play for the Guardians.