WVU’s McKivitz Keeps Routine For Eventual NFL Draft
In many ways, WVU alumnus Colton McKivitz is in limbo like the rest of us.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to the travel he anticipated as an NFL draft prospect and kept him tethered to his training base in Arizona as he continues to work out in anticipation of the day when football, along with so many other aspects of American life, returns to normal.
In another sense, though, he’s still full speed ahead, with a strange twist in that the current state of affairs has allowed him to keep a more regular routine.
“It has made workouts easier, because there hasn’t been any flying around to see different teams,” said the 2019 Big 12 co-offensive lineman of the year. “All of that came to a stop, so from my point of view it has made it easier to stay on my workouts. I’m in from 9:30 to noon every morning, and then again in the afternoon.”
While McKivitz hasn’t been traveling to meet NFL team reps in person, he is staying in contact with many via FaceTime, as has become the new norm in the athletic world. After talking with “just about everyone” at the Senior Bowl and at the NFL Combine, he noted that the Patriots, Chargers and Rams are among the squads he has been in contact with in different days.
“Going to the Senior Bowl really helped me prep for the interviews at the Combine and for now,” he said of one of the first steps into his potential professional career. “The on-field stuff, the drills we run, are pretty much the same, and the play on the field is the same.”
A man of action, McKivitz found the off-field measurements, testing and the like the hardest thing to get through at the Combine.
“Man, that was no fun,” he recalled with a rueful laugh. “It was boring just sitting there waiting two hours for an x-ray or something. Then in the medical they’d do things like pull on your arm or leg really hard, and ask ‘Did that hurt?’ I’d say, ‘Well, yeah, that would hurt anybody.’ But I was able to get through it.”
After the Combine, McKivitz returned to Chandler, Arizona, where he’s training at Offensive Line Performance along with some two dozen other NFL aspirants.
“It’s about 20 pros and four rookies,” he said of the group, which is working under the same social distancing guidelines that the rest of the nation is hopefully following. “They’re cleaning everything we use all the time with every chemical and spray you can think of.”
Even with all the time he is devoting to workouts and communications with NFL teams, there’s still some downtime to manage. McKivitz, an avid outdoorsman, hasn’t found much hunting in Arizona, but has been out to local state parks to bow shoot, and has taken advantage of a nearby pond to do some fishing. He’s also been a regular on PlayStation, competing online with some of his former teammates at West Virginia and others back home.
The COVID-19 situation has also cancelled several other plans he had, including hosting his parents on a 10-day trip to Arizona and on a trip back to WVU for its Pro Day. The NFL Draft, scheduled for April 23-25, is also in limbo.
“The teams aren’t talking about the draft to us much,” he said of the lack of scuttlebutt concerning the spring extravaganza. “We’re just kind of waiting to hear what will happen. We know there won’t be the big public draft in Las Vegas, but other than that we don’t know much more right now.”
In the meantime, he, like everyone else, is adjusting to the current reality of life in a pandemic.
“It was a big shock as to how sports quickly became irrelevant, but it did make me think about the fact that football will end someday for me,” he shared. “Right now, all my family is good, and that’s the most important thing.”