Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser has spent the first two weeks of December picking up individual accolades after a strong season. As each honor rolled in, UVA fans probably crossed their fingers a little bit tighter too.
With two productive seasons under his belt, after all, Kiser could entertain NFL Draft thoughts. Hoo fans may be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief, though. Kiser told Wes McElroy of Fox Sports Richmond on Monday night that he is coming back for his senior season at Virginia. Listen to the full interview here.
”100 percent,” Kiser said. ”I’ll be back and we’re going to right the ship there and get more wins next year.”
Kiser led the ACC in tackles this season with 134 stops, an average of 11.17 tackles per game. He also finished first among Power 5 conference players nationally with those numbers, ranking No. 3 in the country behind only New Mexico State’s Rodney Butler (13.75) and Texas State’s Bryan London (11.75). Over the past two seasons, Kiser has made 251 tackles despite switching from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 scheme.
The junior also forced 5 fumbles (No. 4 in the nation before bowl and playoff games) and logged 6.5 sacks.
Those numbers thrust Kiser into the conversation for a number of awards. He was a finalist for the Dudley Award, given to the best player in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is also a semifinalist for the Butkus Award (best college linebacker) and Lott IMPACT Trophy (college defense’s best in character and performance). Kiser earned first-team All-ACC recognition from both the media and ACC coaches as well as All-American status from the Football Writers Association of America (second team) and College Sports Madness (third team). He won the Touchdown Club of Richmond’s linebacker of the year award as well.
Kiser also earned a second-team spot on the College Sports Information Director’s of America Academic All-America team.
”It means a lot,” Kiser told McElroy when asked about individual honors. ”Obviously I would like more team success and more wins on the field, but to be acknowledged for your individual effort and work it shows that your effort is recognized and people see that I’m a good player. So it means a lot to me.”