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UVA linebacker Micah Kiser wins 2017 Campbell Trophy

micah kiser campbell trophy

Photo by Ben Solomon

Virginia senior inside linebacker Micah Kiser (Baltimore, Md.) has been named the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy winner, announced today (Dec. 5) by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.

The 28th Campbell Trophy was presented to Kiser on Tuesday night at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, which took place at the New York Hilton Midtown. The award, knows as the “Academic Heisman,” recognizes an individual as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation, from a nationwide pool that included all NCAA divisions and the NAIA.

“Micah Kiser’s exceptional accomplishments on and off the field rank him among the best student-athletes in the history of our sport, making him the ideal Campbell Trophy® recipient,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “He truly embodies the scholar-athlete ideal and we are proud to have him as a member of this elite fraternity. He stands as the perfect example for the next generation to emulate.”

Kiser was one of 13 finalists for the award. That group was honored by the NFF as part of its National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments.

 

Kiser is UVA’s second Campbell Trophy winner. Former Cavalier Tom Burns won the Campbell Trophy in 1993, the fourth year it was awarded. Duke (David Helton, 2014) and Virginia are the only ACC schools to boast a Campbell Trophy winner while members of the league. Miami’s Joaquin Gonzalez won the trophy in 2001, before the Hurricanes joined the ACC. UVA is one of five schools with multiple Campbell Trophy winners, joining Florida (3), Ohio State (2), Tennessee (2) and Texas (2).

Kiser, who received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, will have that scholarship increased to $25,000 as the winner of the Campbell Trophy. Kiser graduated with a degree in foreign affairs (3.42 GPA) last May and currently has a 4.0 GPA as he pursues a master’s degree in higher education.

Kiser has had a profound impact on the community during his time at Virginia. Following the riots in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this year, he was solely responsible for uniting the football team and initiating the idea of taking a group photo with all the players locked arm-in-arm.
When asked about it, Kiser said, “I always say if the world was like a football team, we would be better off. A collection of people from all over the country from different backgrounds…if we can show what we can do together, then that’s a beacon of light for the community and an example for other people to follow.”
His other activities include volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, mentoring elementary school students and visiting sick children at area hospitals.

As the recipient of the Campbell Trophy, Kiser will also be honored at the NFF Board of Directors meeting and at a reception hosted by its official home, the New York Athletic Club, onWednesday, Dec. 6. He will then fly to Atlanta to be recognized during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN at the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 7. Finally, as part of the NFF’s partnership with the College Football Playoff (CFP), Kiser will return to Atlanta to be recognized as the 2017 Campbell Trophy winner on the field during the CFP National Championship on Jan. 8, 2018.

The Campbell Trophy is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the former chairman of Intuit, a former player and head coach at Columbia University, and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal. A total distribution of $241,000 in scholarships will be awarded Dec. 5, pushing the program’s all-time distributions to more than $11.3 million.

Kiser, a first-team All-ACC honoree for a third straight season, ranks No. 1 in the ACC and No. 3 in the nation with 134 tackles. His 134 stops tie his 2016 output and Wali Rainer (1998) for No. 4 on UVA’s single-season tackle list.

Kiser is a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award, while he was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award. A second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, Kiser has already earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors this season.

Earlier today, Kiser was honored by the Touchdown Club of Richmond as its Linebacker of the Year for the state of Virginia. He was also announced as one of three finalists for this year’s Dudley Award, presented to the state’s top player. The Dudley Award winner will be announced Sunday in Richmond.

Kiser is on track to become the second player in ACC history to lead the league in tackles in three straight seasons, joining Boston College’s Luke Kuechly (2009-11). He is No. 5 all-time at UVA with 400 career tackles and owns 20 career double-digit tackle games in 36 career starts. Kiser’s 385 tackles since the start of the 2015 season are the most in the nation during that span.

Burns, a former Virginia standout, was the Campbell Trophy’s fourth recipient in 1993. He was a two-year starter at linebacker and four-year performer. Burns became one of Virginia’s all-time leading tacklers with 200 career stops, placing him 15th on the Cavaliers’ all-time roster at the time of his graduation. Majoring in nuclear engineering, he compiled a 3.92 GPA and was twice named a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American. His many academic accolades during his senior year include the Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete Award, the Jim Tatum Award and the ACC’s Weaver-James Post-Graduate Award.

 
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