McKivitz Named Preseason First-Team, All-Big 12
MORGANTOWN – Colton McKivitz is a team-first guy.
Always has been and always will be.
But, he’s also a very honest person, too. He admitted during a recent conversation that individual accolades do matter to him. They just don’t matter more than team success, however.
The Union Local High School graduate, who is about to embark on his red-shirt senior season at West Virginia University, received one of his highest honors to date when he was named first-team, all-Big 12 at tackle by a media vote.
“It’s a big honor for me and it was a goal to make the all Big 12 teams,” McKivitz said. “As nice of an honor as this is, my real goal is to be named to the post-season all conference team.”
McKivitz, who was the lone Mountaineer recognized, has twice been named honorable mention all conference and hopes to take the next step this season, starting Aug. 31 when James Madison comes calling to Milan Puskar Stadium.
“You’re honored that the media recognizes your ability, but it also gives you more motivation and something else to work toward,” McKivitz said. “Obviously, there are a lot of guys in the conference who weren’t named to the team, so you know they’re working just as hard, if not harder, to get a spot, too.”
After a red-shirt season in 2015, McKivitz was thrust into the starting lineup as a red-shirt freshman and hasn’t looked back. He’s started 35 of the 38 games in which he’s appeared. Those 35 starts have been consecutive and are the most on the Mountaineer roster.
The Mountaineers were recently picked third-from-the-bottom by a media panel in the Big 12’s annual pre-season poll.
McKivitz, who is one of just a handful of returning starters on the offensive side of the ball, understands why the pollsters voted the way they did based on roster turnover and the coaching change.
“Obviously, we lost a lot of talented and experienced players,” McKivitz said. “We’re at the point where we’re going to need some young guys to step in and play well. We believe we have those guys ready to do that, too.”
According to McKivitz, it didn’t really matter where the Mountaineers fell in the poll. It does nothing to change the approach of the Mountaineer players, who continue to work toward the start of pre-season camp, which opens Aug. 1.
“In 2016, my freshman year, we were picked second-to-last in the Big 12 and we finished 10-2 and had a shot to win the conference,” McKivitz recalled. “We just have to continue to prepare like we have been and go out and perform.”
McKivitz, who was back in the Ohio Valley briefly around the Fourth of July and will be home to celebrate his sister’s wedding in two weeks, will probably be asked about that and much more when he and the Mountaineer delegation embark on Big 12 Media Days this week.
Joining McKivitz and head coach Neal Brown at Big 12 Media Days, which open on Tuesday at AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas, will be wide receiver T.J. Simmons, defensive lineman Reese Donahue and defensive back Keith Washington.
It’s the first time that McKivitz has drawn the invite to the conference’s pre-season event. And he’d by lying if he said it wasn’t on his list of goals.
“I’ve been looking forward to this,” McKivitz said. “I’ve sat there the last several years and watched the older guys, when you’re sitting there after workouts, and they’re heading to Dallas and you get a little jealous at times.”
McKivitz said he has a new tailor-made suit ready to showcase as he continues to build his brand, which may lead to the National Football League next spring.
“It’s a lighter blue suit with a purple tie and a good-looking pocket square,” McKivitz said. “It looks good. Plus, I have some nice socks to go with it.”