Nov. 7, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser has been named one of 20 semifinalists for the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year. The award was established to honor exemplary leadership by a college player.
Kiser (Baltimore, Md., Sr.) is No. 1 in the ACC and No. 6 in the nation with 10.8 tackles per game. He has made 97 tackles, 5.0 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss through nine games. An Associated Press second-team midseason All-American, Kiser is also a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and a Lott IMPACT Trophy quarterfinalist.
Kiser is one of four players from the ACC on the list of 20 semifinalists. Other ACC players are Braxton Berrios (Miami), Zaire Franklin (Syracuse) and KeShun Freeman (Georgia Tech).
Compiled by a subset of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Selection Committee, the semifinalists have all demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field.
Four finalists will be named for the award on Monday, Dec. 11. The winner will be announced at the award ceremony on Feb. 22, 2018, at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
The inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb, will be the first college football honor to focus primarily on a player’s leadership, both on and off the field. Leadership is a term synonymous with Jason Witten, who, in addition to becoming one of the best tight ends in the history of the sport and the Cowboys’ all-time leading receiver, has served as one of football’s most prominent role models during his 15-year pro career. In addition to winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2012, Witten has also received the Bart Starr Award, Pro Football Weekly’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP and the Bob Lilly Award, among many others. All of those honors have recognized his work in the community, achievements on the field and dedication to his teammates and family.
The winner of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year will also receive a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school’s athletic scholarship fund. The contribution will be made by Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation, the official charity of Jason and his wife Michelle. The SCORE Foundation, founded in 2007, has positively impacted tens of thousands of children and families in Texas and Tennessee over the last 10 years. The foundation operates its nationally-recognized SCOREkeepers program, which places trained male mentors on staff to work with children at family violence shelters, at nine shelters in the two states.