Nov. 1, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia senior inside linebacker Micah Kiser has been named a finalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, announced today (Nov. 1) by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. The award recognizes an individual as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Selected from a nationwide pool of 181 semifinalists from among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA, Kiser is one of 13 finalists for the award.
Kiser (Sr., Baltimore, Md.) will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. Kiser, along with the other 12 finalists will travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, where his accomplishments will be highlighted. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 28th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. The event, which will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, will be live streamed on ESPN3 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.
“We are extremely proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Campbell Trophy, who make up the National Scholar-Athlete Class,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “These young men have an unrelenting commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives, and they represent all that is right in college football. They serve as living examples that Football Matters, and we are excited to honor their hard work and accomplishments with postgraduate scholarships.”
The recipient of the Campbell Trophy 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, on Wednesday, 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), the Campbell Trophy winner will return to Atlanta to be recognized on the field during the CFP National Championship on Jan. 8, 2018.
The 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. The award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $7,000 increase in postgraduate funds for a total scholarship of $25,000. 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 was a Football Writers Association of America second-team All-American in 2016 after finishing No. 1 in the ACC and No. 4 in the nation with 11.2 tackles per game. He was also named a CoSIDA second-team Academic All-American honoree in 2016. The two-time first-team All-ACC honoree has led the league in tackles each of the past two seasons.
Already in 2017 Kiser has been named a midseason second-team All-American by the Associated Press and is a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. Earlier this season Kiser was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week for his game against UConn when he recorded 15 tackles (seven solo), had two quarterback sacks and recovered one fumble at Virginia’s own goal line to help the Cavaliers defeat the Huskies, 38-18.
Through UVA’s first eight games, Kiser is second in the ACC defensive rankings with 9.9 tackles per game, trailing only teammate Quin Blanding. That ranks him No. 12 in the nation in that category. Kiser’s five sacks leads all ACC linebackers.
Former Virginia standout Tom Burns was the Campbell Trophy’s fourth recipient. He won the award in 1994. 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.
Kiser is UVA’s fifth all-time finalist for the Campbell Trophy. Stephen Phelan, Jr. (1997), Tiki Barber (1996) and Gary Cuozzo (1962) join Kiser and Burns as the five all-time Campbell Trophy finalists from Virginia.