Two Mountaineers named to Outland watch list

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va West Virginia University senior offensive tackle Colton McKivitz and redshirt junior offensive guard Josh Sills were named to the Outland Trophy Watch List as presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, announced today by the Football Writers Association of America.

McKivitz, a 2019 preseason All-Big 12 selection, is a three-year starter at tackle, playing in 38 games and starting 35. His 35 starts run consecutively and lead all returning WVU players in 2019. He is a two-time All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection and a three-time Academic All-Big 12 Second-Team selection. He saw action on 950 plays in 2018, including 870 on offense.

Sills, a 2018 All-Big 12 Second Team honoree, is a two-year starter at guard, played in 25 games and started 22. He started all 12 games in 2018 and saw action on 970 plays, including 835 on offense.

In 2018, the offensive line helped pave the way for the offense to average 512.3. yards of total offense per game, ranking No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 10 nationally. It averaged 40.3 points per game, No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 10 nationally and produced 500 or more yards in total offense in eight games, including two with more than 600 yards.

This is the second year of a partnership with the NFID to present the Outland Trophy as part of a public awareness campaign focused on the importance of influenza (flu) prevention during the 2019-20 flu season. The award honoring the top interior lineman in college football will continue to be selected by the FWAA membership and has been rebranded as the Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases with a social media hashtag of #FightFlu.

Pitt All-American Mark May, the 1980 Outland Trophy winner, will serve as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador for the upcoming season. May will make media appearances on behalf of the #FightFlu public awareness campaign to remind people to get their annual flu shots.

The recipient of the 74th Outland Trophy will be announced during ESPN's The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12, live from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the NFID Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee on Jan. 15, 2020. Up to eight semifinalists will be named on Nov. 20 in Omaha and three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 25.

Candidates may be added or removed during the season. The distribution of watch list candidates is spread well among the conferences, with the Big Ten and SEC leading the way with 13 each. The Big 12 and Pac-12 are just behind with 12 apiece, followed by the ACC with 10 as well as the American Athletic (6), Independents and Mountain West (4 each), and Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt (3 each). The list includes 32 offensive tackles, 19 defensive tackles, 18 guards and 14 centers.