McKivitz returning to WVU for final season
MORGANTOWN — Colton McKivitz has never been one to leave a task uncompleted.
That’s exactly the mindset that led him to the decision to return to West Virginia University for his final season of eligibility instead of entering his name into this spring’s NFL Draft.
McKivitz, who informed his family, some close friends and confidants of his decision on Monday made the announcement public, via his Twitter page, Tuesday afternoon.
“I spent a lot of time thinking it over before and after the bowl game and really this weekend, I officially decided that coming back was the best thing for me,” McKivitz said during a phone interview Tuesday night. “I want to leave West Virginia on a positive note and finish what I started here.”
The UL graduate said the departure of Dana Holgorsen to Houston and the hiring of Neal Brown as his last weekend had little to do with his decision.
“We had a meeting with Coach Brown on Sunday evening, and I already had made up my mind for the most part. I do feel like it’s definitely worth giving Coach Brown a chance.”
On top of the team meeting, McKivitz had a chance to sit down with his new head coach on Tuesday, too.
“I think Coach Brown is a guy who is going to get the best out of us,” McKivitz said. “We met and got to to know each other a little bit. It went well. It was an opportunity for me to really kind of figure out what’s going on, how he’s going to run this program and how he’s going to coach. I really believe it’s going to be a good (final) season.”
McKivitz is on track to graduate after the spring semester and wanting to complete that degree in wildlife and fisheries was also a major motivator.
“Getting that degree is a big thing for me, so I didn’t want not having it hanging over my head, so I am looking forward to completing that,” McKivitz said.
McKivitz has made 35 starts, most of which came at offensive tackle, for the Mountaineers. That will be, by far, the most returning experience on the offensive unit. While he was looked upon for leadership last year, he knows his role will be expanded further this season.
“I know the offensive line room is mine now and that’s something I definitely take pride in,” McKivitz said. “Josh (Sills) and I will be looked at to help show the younger guys how the game is supposed to be played. I know I don’t talk a lot, but I hope my play speaks for me.”
On top of being a leader and doing his part for the team, McKivitz plans to take advantage of the extra collegiate season to further fine tune his game with his sights set on the 2020 draft.
“Obviously, as a senior (player), I won’t have many classes, so I plans to use the free time I have to the best of my ability,” McKivitz said. “I think the extra season will allow me to continue to improve and look better a prospect moving forward.”