UVA linebacker Micah Kiser selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2018 NFL Draft
Virginia senior linebacker Micah Kiser (Baltimore, Md.) was selected by the Los Angeles Rams during Saturday’s fifth round of the National Football Draft. Kiser was the 147th overall pick and the first linebacker drafted out of Virginia since Max Valles was taken by the Oakland Raiders in the sixth round, 179th overall, in 2015.
Kiser is the first Cavalier drafted by the Rams since 2008 when Chris Long was taken in the first round. Kiser is the 10th Cavalier all-time to be drafted by the Los Angles Rams.
Kiser was the 2017 Campbell Trophy winner (academic Heisman) which is presented by the National Football Foundation. Earlier this year took Kiser took part in the NFL Combine and was invited to play in the 2018 Senior Bowl. A three-time first-team All-ACC honoree and a first-team All-American (Sporting News) in 2017, Kiser’s 145 tackles were the fourth most in the nation and are No. 2 all-time on UVA’s single-season ledger. Over the past two seasons Kiser has been named to 11 different All-America teams, including earning second-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2016, becoming the first Cavalier to do so in nearly 20 years. Kiser led the Atlantic Coast Conference in tackles in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He is just the second player in league history to lead the conference in tackles for three straight seasons. Kiser was also a semifinalist for the prestigious AAU James E. Sullivan Award.
Transcript: Micah Kiser
On his reaction to being selected by the Rams
“I’m pumped. This is a blessing. I knew all along the Rams organization liked me as a player. I felt like it was a great fit and I’m so happy to be a Ram and glad that they chose me.”
On what he thinks he’ll bring to the Rams and their scheme
“A really smart linebacker, leader on the field, great player, very productive. I think I’ve been one of the more productive linebackers in college football the last three years. So, I’m just going to come in and do whatever they want me to do – special teams, linebacker. I’m all about the team and I’m just a football player.”
On if he interviewed with the Rams and who he spoke with if so
“I did. I was on a visit with the Rams I guess two weeks ago. I had met with Coach (Chris) Shula, the assistant linebackers coach at the combine and so I got to meet him a little bit. Then from the combine, I went out there on a visit and met with (Assistant Head Coach /Linebackers) Coach (Joe) Barry and (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Wade) Phillips and talked film, talked football. It went pretty well, so I’m glad they thought enough of me to take me and I’m just ready to get to work.”
On what he knows about Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and what he thinks about being able to play under his scheme
“Yeah, he’s always had great defenses. What he was able to do, not only here with the Rams, but also, I remember watching him with the Broncos as well. Great defense, great players and I’m just ready to be a part of it.”
On if he paid attention to how the Rams’ roster looked with respect to the linebacker position and if he thinks he can come in and make an impact
“Obviously, you know the roster or whatever. But everyone at this level is a pro so you’ve got to come in and work. Anyone can play – anyone who gets picked in the draft, a veteran that is a great football player. So, I’m just ready to come in, put my best foot forward and be as productive as I can.”
On if he solely played inside linebacker or if he played outside as well
“I was technically a middle linebacker, but I played all over the field. I’ve lined up on the line of scrimmage, I’ve lined up at ‘Will’ linebacker, I’ve lined up at ‘Sam’ linebacker. I’ve done a lot. I’ve blitzed the passer a lot, I’ve played pass coverage a lot. I feel like I’ve done a lot at the college level and only going to get better.”
On if they played in a of 4-3 defenses a lot at Virginia
“We actually played a 3-4.”
On if he played on special teams
“Yeah, I’ve been on the punt team in college the last two years. So, I’ve played special teams, I’ve played defense. I’m just ready to contribute.”