"Big shoes to fill, but it is just a great opportunity for me and Zach [Bradshaw]," said Micah Kiser.
They are certainly some big shoes to fill. Virginia football lost both Henry Coley and Daquan Romero due to graduation, losing 112 tackles (20.5 for a loss), 10 sacks, nine pass breakups, and four forced fumbles between them. Kiser and Bradshaw come into this season with one career start between them, however, the former Gilman School standout sees this as a chance of a lifetime.
"It's an opportunity for us to help the team win games and help the defense be a great defense," he said. "We just want to win games. I don't want any credit or anything like that."
Kiser was not only Romero's lifting partner for his first two seasons at UVa, he also looked up to Coley and made sure to learn everything he could from the former Wahoo.
"Henry was a real student of the game. I've taken notes," said Kiser. "I have every note I have ever taken since my first year. I have all my notebooks from football...His leadership and preparation for games for sure [is something I've picked up]."
According to the red-shirt sophomore, this team is very different than any of the Cavalier teams he has been part of.
"Some years on this team I just feel like a lot of guys were worried about themsleves and the stats and trying to get to the NFL. The team was n't that close," stated Kiser. "This year the team is selfless. No one cares who takes the credit... Everyone is putting in the work."
One reason for this change of attitude is Matt Johns. Johns is UVa's starting quarterback this season, and Kiser says "guys see him as a leader, and he leads by example."
Kiser discusses the season ahead and much more in the video above.
Romero Adjusting to New Role as Coach