We’re back again today with another edition of our 2017 Mountaineer football profile series. Today we look at Right Tackle Colton McKivitz
Next up in our look down the road towards the 2017 season is sophomore offensive tackle Colton McKivitz. After being plunged into the thick of the action in last year’s home opener against Missouri, it’s been nothing but learning and building upon a solid freshman outing.
Colton McKivitz, OL, #53
Year: Sophomore (redshirt)
Hometown: Jacobsburg, OH
High School: Union Local
How he got to Morgantown
McKivitz was a bit of a late bloomer. No, not in the physical sense, as his towering 6’7” frame immediately gives away, but in the sense that he was not heavily recruited coming out of Ohio where he was largely focused on basketball until the latter half of his high school career. Having committed early to Miami (OH), it wasn’t until former OL coach Ron Crook noticed McKivitz’s natural athleticism and frame that could easily fill out in a college weight program that the Mountaineers began to try and woo him to Morgantown. West Virginia swooped in and earned his commitment only a month after originally commtting to the Redhaws. Other D-1 programs such as Kentucky, UVA, Michigan State and Marshall also took notice late in the process.
Yodny Cajuste was projected to have a breakout season last year before everything came to an abrupt halt early in the Mountaineers’ home opener against Missouri due to a season-ending knee injury. McKivitz was required to replace Cajuste immediately. That it was against an SEC opponent is daunting enough, then, add in the fact that future first round pick Charles Harris was the man you are tasked to block and you can somewhat imagine the swell of trepidation true freshman McKivitz felt when he heard his name called. However, McKivitz more than held his own and the Mountaineers realized they’d found a future bookend at the tackle position.
With the departures of Adam Pankey, Tyler Orlosky and Marcell Lazard, the front needs a reload in order to keep prized quarterback Will Grier’s jersey clean. McKivitz has now the experience and an added year of mental and physical reps to man the right tackle position (where he seems entrenched) on top of his trial-by-fire introduction to left tackle spot where he can fill in, if necessary. Due to his background as basketball player, McKivitz has naturally great footwork and knows how to move in space. Joe Wickline is an OL guru and will likely have fine-tuned a great deal of number 53’s inconsistencies from last year, that were due, in large part, to being doe-eyed and very green to the game.
2017 Dream Season
God willing, the offensive line remains healthy across the board. Matt Jones realizes that he is a Tyler Orlosky doppelganger, Kyle Bosch tells jokes in between road-grading opposing defenders and Yodny Cajuste avoids the injury bug to become an All-Big 12 selection at left tackle. Of course, this all benefits McKivitz, who also plays his way into an all conference selection and is put on several watchlists entering into the 2018 season, headlined by the fact that he and Cajuste are quite possibly the best duo at offensive tackle in the nation. Oh, this, of course, is all done en route to allowing Will Grier to pass for over 4,500 yards and Justin Crawford exceeding 1.400 yards from scrimmage on the year.