Jan. 26, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Six Virginia football players were named to the 2016 Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID) All-State Division I Football team, announced Thursday (Jan. 26) by the organization. Micah Kiser (LB) was named VaSID Defensive Player of the Year and Bryce Hall (CB) was named VaSID Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Sports information directors from throughout the state took part in the voting which, in addition to the top individual awards, named all-state first and second teams on offense, defense and special teams.
Blanding (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) finished 2016 ranked No. 2 in the ACC and No. 9 in the nation with 10.0 tackles per game. Blanding recorded 120 tackles in 2016. Blanding has finished No. 2 in the ACC in tackles three seasons in a row, twice behind Kiser. Blanding was also voted first-team All-ACC by the league’s media and coaches. He has also been named a second-team All-American by the Sporting News and a third-team All-American by College Sports Madness. Blanding was a first-team All-VaSID honoree in 2015 and a second-team recipient in 2014.
Conte (Sr., Roanoke, Va.) finished 2016 No. 1 in the ACC and No. 15 in the nation with a 44.3-yard punting average. He ranked No. 1 in the nation with 34 punts inside the 20 and No. 3 in the nation with 23 punts of 50 yards or more. Conte’s career punting average of 44.45 yards per punt is a UVA career record and ranks No. 3 all-time in the ACC record book. Conte was also voted first-team All-ACC by the league’s media and coaches. Conte was a Ray Guy Award semifinalist and a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Award. Conte is a member of CoSIDA’s Academic All-District team. Conte was a first-team All-VaSID honoree in 2015.
Kiser (Jr., Baltimore, Md.) finished 2016 ranked No. 1 in the ACC and No. 4 in the nation with 11.2 tackles per game. His 134 total stops rank No. 3 in the nation and is tied with Wali Rainer for the fourth-most single-season tackles in program history. Kiser also ranked No. 5 in the nation in forced fumbles (5) and No. 2 in the ACC and No. 10 in the nation in sacks by a linebacker (6.5). Kiser was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy. Kiser was also voted first-team All-ACC by the league’s media and coaches. FWAA named Kiser a second-team All-American and College Sports Madness named him a third-team All-American. Kiser was also a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. Kiser is a two-time Touchdown Club of Richmond Linebacker of the Year and was a first-team VaSID linebacker in 2015.
Mizzell (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) is the only player in ACC history with 1,500 career rushing and 1,500 career receiving yards. In 2016 he ranked No. 7 in the ACC with 114.67 all-purpose yards per game and No. 7 in the ACC with 940 rushing yards. His 52 receptions led all UVA receivers. He is one of four players in the nation to lead his team in rushing yards and receptions, joining TCU’s Kyle Hicks, Texas State’s Stedman Mayberry and San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey. Mizzell concludes his career as the ACC record holder for career receptions by a running back with 195. Mizzell concludes his UVA career No. 16 all-time in rushing (2,075) and No. 12 all-time in career receiving (1,560). Mizzell was an All-ACC honorable mention by the media in 2016 and was a second-team All-VaSID honoree in 2015.
Hall (Fr., Harrisburg, Pa.) appeared in all 12 of UVA’s games with seven starts at cornerback in his inaugural season on Grounds. He posted 25 tackles and made two interceptions in helping him earn VaSID Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Hall also broke up four passes. Hall is the first UVA VaSID Defensive Rookie of the Year honoree since Blanding in 2014.
The second-team honor for Matteo (Sr., Ashburn, Va.) is his second (2015) and the honor for Andrew Brown (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) is his first career nod.
VaSID Offensive Player of the Year was Bryan Schor of James Madison, while the VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year was Deontez Thompson of Richmond. James Madison’s Mike Houston was named VaSID Coach of the Year.