Morgantown, WV – West Virginia offensive tackle Colton McKivitz was moved to the left side of the line during spring camp. However, this is not unfamiliar territory for the 6-7 312-lb redshirt senior that made preseason All-Big 12 honorable mention.
In the season-opening game of the 2016 season, McKivitz was thrown into the fire as a redshirt freshman after starting left tackle Yodny Cajuste went down with a season-ending knee injury early in the game against Missouri. However, after the 2016 campaign, Colton started at right tackle the last two years.
The biggest adjustment is getting your body trained to the left side. The left tackle position is arguably one of the most important positions on the team, being that it protects the quarterbacks’ blindside and that’s where the defense will often bring the most pressure.
Going up against some of the best pass rushers in college football, a fraction of a second can make the difference from the quarterback getting the pass off or a sack for a huge loss or even worse, a turnover.
It comes down to muscle memory and McKivitz understands what it takes to get to the elite level he needs to be to protect his quarterback, Austin Kendall.
“I know in Spring, it was just being comfortable and trying to get that muscle memory,” stated McKivitz. “All through summer it was working the technique and perfecting it and now, it’s kind of that muscle memory of doing it every play. I think in fall camp, it will be noticing that one or two plays that aren’t that muscle memory and those perfect reps. I think it’s going to be a big key this fall for myself, is making sure every rep is identical.”
What exactly is the biggest difference from moving from the right to left?
“The biggest thing is mental weight on your post foot,” explained Colton. “I think that’s probably the biggest thing for a tackle is moving that mental weight to your inside foot.”
Fall camp has wrapped up and with all the reps, McKivitz is getting more comfortable being back at left tackle.
“That first week it was off and on trying to get it but now that we’re in the full swing of things, it’s been pretty good,” said McKivitz.
The Mountaineers open the season against the James Madison Dukes this Saturday at Mountaineer Field at 2:00 pm.
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