Colton McKivitz has flipped to WVU.
Miami went 0-12 in 2013, fired its offensive coordinator and its head coach mid-season, and was truly one of the worst programs in recent FBS history. Insert new head coach Chuck Martin and a string of solid early commits to the 2015 recruiting class, and suddenly it looks like the Cradle of Coaches is headed in the right direction.
Colton McKivitz, a 6-foot-7 inch wall of an offensive tackle, and the third member of Miami's 2015 recruiting class, is just the latest step Martin has taken to sure up the RedHawks flaws, and lay the foundation for a winning program.
McKivitz, the third 3-star (according to Scout ratings) commit Miami's class so far, is another huge get for Martin, both literally and figuratively. At 6-foot-7, 280 pounds McKivitz has the frame to be a potential All-MAC anchor of the 'Hawks line. With offers from seven total schools, including Marshall and West Virginia, his commitment is a symbol of the change Martin is bringing to Oxford.
"Definitely the coaches. They were a big, big part. Just getting to know them and the relationship I have with them," McKivitz told Hustle Belt of why he chose Miami over offers from bigger programs. "Marshall, WVU and Miami were my top three .... But campus life, and really just the fit for me differentiated Miami from WVU and Marshall."
Martin and his staff are a big part of what made McKivitz feel like Miami was the perfect fit.
"He definitely knows where he's going. He has the right plan. He's going to carry out that plan they way he wants to. But he's going to want the best out of you no matter what. He's definitely going to be there for whenever you need him," McKivitz said.
"We got to sit down with him a couple times and just talking with him, and getting to know him more, he was definitely a big part [of the reason for choosing Miami]."
Miami is coming off one of its worst seasons in the program's storied history. The team had been struggling for the last few seasons under former head coach Don Treadwell, but absolutely hit rock bottom in 2013. Now Martin, and his recruiting classes, are tasked with restoring the program to its glory days, and that's something that McKivitz was attracted to.
"I was a little worried about it," he said of the rebuilding process, "but then after thinking about it, I wanted to join in on turning it around."
Miami's reputation for its strong academics, one of the things Martin is proud of, is another reason that McKivitz has given his pledge to be a RedHawk. The soon-to-be high school senior wants to major in engineering, either mechanical or civil, when he gets to Oxford, and Miami's tough academic standards made the school feel like a natural fit for the Belmont, Ohio native.
"The professors are always behind the football players, so that's good to know. It's still going to be challenging, but they're still going to be there for you when you need it," McKivitz said.
As for any worries that this big get for Miami's class may jump ship later, McKivitz has ensured he's all in on Martin and the Redhawks.
""I'm definitely going there. Yeah, it's very solid," he said of his verbal commitment.