Virginia Cavalier football fans have witnessed 3-time first-team All-ACC linebacker Micah Kiser’s excellence on the field and saw his leadership in the aftermath of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that spilled onto the University of Virginia’s Grounds this past August. What most may not have known but probably could have guessed is Kiser’s excellence in the classroom — the Foreign Affairs major boasts a 3.42 GPA.
Quite simply, the Baltimore (MD) native is the best representation of UVA’s motto, “uncompromised excellence.” Tonight (December 5), the star senior was recognized for his accomplishments both on and off the field as the recipient of the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, an award honoring the nation’s top scholar-athlete as deemed by the National Football Foundation.
According to the NFF, the trophy is given to the “premiere scholar athlete for upholding the highest standards of scholarship, citizenship, and athletic achievement and for serving as the living embodiment of our mission to ‘Build Leaders Through Football.’”
“Wow. This is amazing,” Kiser said in his remarks after being announced as the winner.
“It’s just an amazing honor for me to be chosen,” Kiser added.
“My entire life my parents have challenged me to be the best I could be in everything I did,” Kiser continued. “They held me to the highest standard … the standard of being a Kiser. That meant A’s were expected in school, and great effort and success were expected on the playing field. They provided every avenue for me to uphold this standard, and I stand in front of you today because of the many sacrifices they made for me throughout the years. For that, I am forever grateful.
“In college, I’ve worn the honor of being student athlete with great pride. Representing the University of Virginia’s football team on the field, in the classroom, and in the community, solicits a level of prestige while at the same time carrying immense pressure. I always strive to prove that football players at the University of Virginia offer more than just athleticism on the field, but also deserve and belong to be contributing members of the school community and to serve as role models in the Charlottesville community. This is not just an individual award, but a team award that I proudly accept in service of my fellow teammates at the University of Virginia.
“In closing, I want to say a special thanks to Coach Mendenhall, Mr. Littlepage, and President Sullivan for allowing me to represent the University of Virginia on this national stage, as a product of this athletic program’s commitment to uncompromised excellence. Wahoowa, and go Hoos.”
Kiser and 12 other finalists made their way to New York City for the 28th presentation of the Campbell Trophy, also known as the “Academic Heisman.” All finalists received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. As the winner, Kiser had his scholarship extended to $25,000.
Twenty-eight student athletes have been awarded the Campbell Trophy. Two are University of Virginia graduates. Before Kiser, linebacker Tom Burns received the prestigious award back in 1993.