Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Juco QB Thomas MacVittie, whose career began at Pitt, commits to KU football

FILE — Former Pittsburgh quarterback Thomas MacVittie (7) warms up before the annual Pittsburgh Spring NCAA football scrimmage, Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pittsburgh. MacVittie, who played the 2018 season at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) announced on Dec. 11, 2018, his plans to sign with the University of Kansas. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

FILE — Former Pittsburgh quarterback Thomas MacVittie (7) warms up before the annual Pittsburgh Spring NCAA football scrimmage, Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pittsburgh. MacVittie, who played the 2018 season at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) announced on Dec. 11, 2018, his plans to sign with the University of Kansas. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


The Kansas football team’s 2019 recruiting class now has a quarterback.

Thomas MacVittie, a sophomore at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) whose college football career began in the ACC at Pittsburgh, announced Tuesday afternoon his decision to commit to the Jayhawks, becoming the first QB to do so since Les Miles took over the program.

In a note MacVittie posted to Twitter to unveil his decision, the QB described his time at Mesa C.C. as a “second opportunity to chase my dream” and thanked his junior college coaches and teammates before declaring his intentions to sign with KU.

“Coach Les Miles, Coach Chip Lindsey and the staff at Kansas, I am ready to join the Kansas family and win a Big XII title as I am officially committing to the University of Kansas,” MacVittie wrote, adding a “rock chalk” for good measure.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound QB visited KU this past weekend.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, MacVittie is considered a two-star junior college prospect by Rivals.

During his recently completed sophomore season at Mesa, MacVittie played in six games and completed 92 of his 172 passes (53.5 percent) for 1,064 yards, with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

247 Sports ranks MacVittie as the No. 1 juco QB in the Class of 2019.

Back during his days as a standout prep at Archbishop Moeller (Ohio), MacVittie was listed as a three-star prospect in the Class of 2016 by Rivals and he signed with Pitt.

In his first season with the Panthers, MacVittie redshirted. In 2017, he played in three games on Pitt’s punt return unit before transferring to Mesa C.C.

The QB would be a junior with two years of eligibility remaining at KU in 2019. All verbal commitments, of course, are nonbinding. College football’s early signing period for the Class of 2019 runs from Dec. 19-21.

Shortly after MacVittie announced his commitment, new KU offensive coordinator Lindsey took to Twitter to post a message, too: “We just got better.”

Barring any transfers at the position between now and the start of next season, KU would have four returning QBs on its roster: Miles Kendrick, Carter Stanley, Billy Maples and Miles Fallin. Only Stanley, a redshirt junior this past season, and Kendrick, a sophomore, have played significant snaps for the Jayhawks.

MacVittie became the first juco prospect on KU’s list of 2019 commitments, which is also occupied by three high school recruits: three-star defensive back Jayden Russell, two-star running back Cole Mueller and two-star athlete Mason Fairchild.

None by Chip Lindsey


Brent Shipley 1 year, 2 months ago


Also I believe that tells us we arent getting Lance Legendre to commit again. No since in bringing in a juco if we were getting a four star freshman dual threat. If we bring both in and add that to our current players we have six QBs on the roster.

Dale Rogers 1 year, 2 months ago

Why not MacVittie for 2019 while Legendre develops and maybe plays some snaps, then 2020 is one of those two with Legendre the third year when MacVittie has graduated?

Steven Haag 1 year, 2 months ago

I’m assuming they see something in him other than his stat sheet, because it’s not that impressive. I will give Les the same respect I gave Beaty, because that’s how I roll. With that said, 4 recruits......1 three star and 3 two stars???????🤔🤔

Brandon Pope 1 year, 2 months ago

It’s been two weeks. Recruiting normally takes months to years to build meaningful relationships. Patience is a virtue.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 2 months ago

As Stephen Covey wrote, "when it comes to people, slow is fast". David Beaty, through his ineptitude, destroyed the 2019 recruiting class. Les Miles had three weeks to clean up the wreckage. David Beaty also wrecked the program by selling his soul on the 2018 JUCO class (insert Beaty-loving-he's-a-first-class-man quote, here).

As has been fully documented by Keegan, Beaty leaves the program in as bad as shape as he found it, except for the Dec. 18 early commit date, which Beaty didn't have to deal with in his first season, so I think he made it worse.

This is going to be a grind. Miles will score a big name or two before he's done this year, but mostly, we will be going to battle with kids who were either undecided or committed to smaller programs. That doesn't mean they aren't good, but that they may not be the first kid picked in gym class.

Given the state of the program, we had one right choice to make and that was to find a Grinder. Miles showed this ability in Stillwater. I trust that he will again in Lawrence. In time.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 2 months ago

OMG Brett. Find a support group or something. Time to move on.

Mike Hart 1 year, 2 months ago

Right...the program is in as bad a shape as when Beaty inherited it. Sure... 30 some scholarship players on the roster when Beaty came in. And Brett and others ridiculed Beaty for going the Juco route and getting Miles Kendrick last year (who still had 3 years of eligibility left). So now Les Miles and new OC... go out and go the Juco route... a guy with just 2 years of eligibility left who has never sniffed the field as a Div 1 quarterback. He has exactly 6 games of juco experience at QB... since he graduated high school in 2015. Right off the bat a juco... at QB no less. But since it is Les Miles.. it's pre-judged as a great move. It's hard to judge one way or the other about this juco signing... as there is no real footage out there other than what he has done in high school. I do know that he didn't take the field for Pitt for 2 years (a redshirt)... and then only as a special teamer. His first game this year for Mesa was good... 25-38, 308 yards, 3 TDs... 50+ yards rushing and 2 rushing TDs.

In game 2, he followed up that masterpiece with a 10-27 passing, 167 yards, 3 TDs, 2 picks... and 115 yard rushing in a 52-35 loss. Game 3 they got routed and MacVittie was 13-23, 96 yards passing, 3 TDs. Next game they got blown out by 42 points... and he was 14-32 for 152 yards... 3 INTs... including a pick 6. All 3 interceptions were in the first half. He also lost 2 fumbles...accounting for 5 turnovers. He was benched in the 3rd quarter of that game and didn't play the rest of the game. He didn't play in the next game... as he lost his starting job. And uh.. he didn't start the remaining games of the season. In other words, after committing 5 turnovers in one half plus the first possession of the 3rd quarter... he never saw the playing field again for Mesa.

So unlike Kendrick.. who shined in Juco... MacVittie played 6 games... the final time he saw the field he accounted for 5 turnovers in just over a half of play. But if he fails... then I know the routine: IT'S BEATY'S FAULT AGAIN! chuckle Amusing...

Joe Ross 1 year, 2 months ago

Wrong answer, Mike.

You can complain about the choice of QB, but Carter Stanley's not going to change the direction of the program. He's had his chance. Miles Kendrick "might" have a chance to do something if he gets developed, but we don't know that for sure. Two other QBs in the stable have languished under David Beaty, a coach who never saw a QB improve an ounce under his tenure.

A high school QB coming in is not going to be the savior. Especially in a Power 5. And if that kind of HS QB did exist, he wouldn't be coming to Kansas. He'd be at Oklahoma or Alabama or Ohio State.

So without a HS QB, and without a roster QB capable of changing the program, and with a hypothetical transfer QB having to sit out a season, where do you turn to?

The position that most greatly demands a JUCO move IS the quarterback position. This is common knowledge, Mike.

That's why Les Miles has done it. He needed to.

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 2 months ago

Hey Brett, we were fortunate to get rid of Keegan. When can we expect you to leave as well.

Joe Ross 1 year, 2 months ago

Wrong answer on both accounts. Keegan is a great writer. As far as Brett goes, I don't always agree with him, but he does seem to contribute. More to the point, it seems kind of cowardly to just pile on and say what a few others are saying regarding Brett.

You've had much better comments, Jim.

Kenny George 1 year, 2 months ago

247 sports has him as a 3 star and number 39th rated juco player for 2019. Just watch his clips...the kid has a gun and can flat out run if needed. Big upgrade at QB!

Dale Rogers 1 year, 2 months ago

Out of high school he was a four-star and was recruited by Les Miles while at LSU. He redshirted a year at Pitt, then played on the punt return team for 3 games his redshirt freshman year, then transferred to Mesa CC. I've not found why Pitt used him on the punt return team. I'll go with our new coaches since they know this kid and I don't, plus they're way more qualified to judge his talent and potential than I am. Time will tell but I think this is a good sign.

Gerry Butler 1 year, 2 months ago

He has been clocked as running a 4,5 - -40 the guy can flat get out and run - -big time pick up - - I think good times coming. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Buck Bukaty 1 year, 2 months ago

Athletes play on punt coverage. Apparently has wheels and size, ergo, likely played on punt coverage because they didn't need him as a Freshman QB at the time but respected his production as an athlete.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 2 months ago

Yeah we all know how you roll Steven. The expert on nothing.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 1 year, 2 months ago

I’m cautiously optimistic though JUCO QBs don’t have a great history at KU. Looking forward to seeing who emerges as the starter. I think Carter Stanley still has a shot...

Dane Pratt 1 year, 2 months ago

I also think Carter has a shot. MacVittie might be a great QB and he could just as easily be a year away from seeing playing time. Carter was better than Miles last season and if is the starting quarterback in 2019 I don't think that would be a bad thing.

Steven Haag 1 year, 2 months ago

Kevin, let me introduce you to the pot, or the kettle. You pick. Again, I said I will give Les the respect. Beaty had a class or two that didn’t have 3 two stars in the whole recruiting batch, yet there were some.......Kevin......that shines and complained about everything Beaty did. I wasn’t complaining, but questioning. Yet I do have that right, as you did with Beaty. Pitt didn’t even use him as a QB. In Juco he had a 53% completion rate and 8 interceptions. Just saying those stats don’t jump out. Answer me HONESTLY Kev, if Beaty got that recruit, what would you say? ANOTHER JUCO.......TERRIBLE COMPLETION PERCENTAGE.....LOOK AT ALL THOSE INTERCEPTIONS.... naw, you would have said awesome job, great recruit 😂😂😂😂😂😂. Dale, you added some information that I didn’t know. Thanks for sharing.

Mike Hart 1 year, 2 months ago

His last Juco start... 3 picks (including Pick 6... 2 lost fumbles...5 turnovers)... all in just over one half of play. But hey, since it was Les Miles and not David Beaty.. this kid is a PLAYER!

Joe Ross 1 year, 2 months ago

You're mistake is in assuming he'll not be developed here.

And yes, there IS a difference between Beaty and Miles. Beaty never improved on a QBs talent once he got him here.

Not ONE quarterback.

Not ONE out of improvement.

When our QBs went to better programs their play improved because other schools were actually developing those guys. So your cynicism about Miles vs. Beaty fails. "Miserably", considering Beaty's complete inability with QBs.


Jack Hoff 1 year, 2 months ago

Spot on Joe! Coaching does matter a great deal, particularly when it comes to QB's. Even more so important than just throwing mechanics and scrambling ability, sometimes it's the confidence the player feels that really allows them lead. I supported Beaty till the end but he royally screwed up the confidence of every QB on the roster. Coaching matters and you don't have to look farther than Ryan Willis and Montell Cozart to see that!

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 2 months ago

I like his size. The rest lll wait and see.

David Robinett 1 year, 2 months ago

16 TD’s in 6 games is not bad. Sounds like he could be a Big Ben

Steven Haag 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree about his size. It “seems” to me that the coaching staff doesn’t have a huge ton of warm fuzzies in our quarterback department. If they did, one would think they would go for a high school quarterback. This guy is tall and it appears he can scramble. Eight interceptions in Juco is a little concerning IMO. Let’s hope he is a 6’5” version of Todd Reesing.

Brent Shipley 1 year, 2 months ago

But have they gone after Lance Legendre? The kid is from Louisiana a 4 star dual threat and was committed to play with us. I would hope that they called him first.

Joe Ross 1 year, 2 months ago

I think we have to wait and see about how he develops. Jake Heaps and Peyton Bender from the JUCO ranks, and Dayne Crist from Division I (Notre Dame) all came highly touted. But I don't think any of those guys had the benefit of coaches at Kansas who could develop them. Even Willis and Cozart, who both went other places, posted better QB numbers at their new stops compared to their time at Kansas.

It might just be on the staff to take this kid's talent and develop it.

Todd Reesing wasn't a highly touted recruit, but he was a gamer. Maybe this kid is too. We'll see...

Dale Rogers 1 year, 2 months ago

Agree but don't think any of the guys you listed were juco, or am I wrong? Weren't they all disgruntled transfers from four-year schools where they lost their starting position? As for whether this guy is going to be good for us, I'll wait and see what our coaches can do with him. I trust their judgment until they show me I shouldn't. Besides, recruiting is not done. For all I know they may be after another qb or two and are thinking this guy will be backup unless they can't land better. Didn't someone say they offered an Alabama 4-star? I haven't seen anything about that so don't know.

Kit Duncan 1 year, 2 months ago

Watching MacVittie's high school video made me think of an NFL legend who was about the same size, LA Rams QB Roman Gabriel. It might be a stretch, but MacVittie sure looks like a pocket passer who can scramble when needed. And when he runs, he's not easy to tackle because of his size and bruiser mentality.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 2 months ago

Peyton was a juco but Jake sat his first year as a transfer.

Going back a decade or 3 we had some success with juco QBs.

The comp% is uninspiring but anyone that's objectively watched recent games knows that a few dropped passes can make all the difference in the world regarding perceptions.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 2 months ago

Mike - No need to worry the first Lesticle that isn't favorable and they'll be back to B&Moaning like normal.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 2 months ago

Like how Mike rips a kid and Dirk encourages him. Two Beaty-loving class acts.

As I did with Weis and Beaty, I’ll support the staff and their decisions. Maybe even a little more since, you know, Miles won a National Championship and everything. Hope that’s okay with you kid-bashers.

Len Shaffer 1 year, 2 months ago

"Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, MacVittie is considered a two-star junior college prospect by Rivals."

"247 Sports ranks MacVittie as the No. 1 juco QB in the Class of 2019."

Does anyone else find that strange??? One site has him as only a two-star and the other site has him as the BEST QB in all of Juco??? That seems pretty bizarre to me.

Mike Hart 1 year, 2 months ago

Brett McCabe: As you well know... I'm not ripping the "kid". I'm ripping the double standard and the selective use of rose-colored glasses that you and other choose to wear. You guys ridiculed Beaty for going Juco route on QB... for a kid like Kendrick who has 3 years of eligibility and was wildly successful in junior college. But now when Les Miles and Co go the same route right off the bat with a juco QB recruit... the jury is out.. .judgement is reserved.. and we will wait and see. That's clearly a double standard. Especially since MacVittie redshirted at Pitt... and then AFTER an injury to the starting QB.. .was a 3rd string QB at Pitt his redshirt freshmen year. Pitt then recruited 2 QBs between MacVittie's redshirt freshman year.. .and sophomore year... so the writing was on the wall. Hence, he transferred out. Maybe he IS a great prospect.. and I am not knocking the kid. I'm knocking the light with which you choose to view decisions made by incoming staff.. when (relative to Beaty and Kendrick) the stats aren't there to back it up... while you casted dark shadows on each and every move Beaty made. No matter who he recruited or what he did.. it was always a bad move before the recruit even stepped foot on campus. As for MacVittie... he only played QB for ONE year in high school. (he was a WR before that).. so it is no wonder he didn't play QB at Pitt... and that he was inconsistent at Mesa. He's played just 6 games of junior college football as a QB to supplement his 1 year at QB in high school. He's still learning the position. He's still a project. It's going to be quite an adjustment to Big 12 caliber football, and hopefully we have the coaches who can coach him up... the physical tools are clearly there. It's his inexperience at the position that needs to be shored up.

Dale Rogers 1 year, 2 months ago

A national championship seems to be a pretty good "stat to back it up" as does a record of some of the coaches, including the HC, in quickly developing downtrodden programs. Not to mention development of players in the past. Besides, it's very early. Who is to say MacVittie is the only QB with starting potential HC is after? All we know is he's the first, not that he is the end goal.

Brian Hosfelt 1 year, 2 months ago

Mike Hart the reason Beaty lost the support of his moves was because how he handled the QB position over his 4 years....Miles is starting with a clean slate so he gets the 100% support from the fans...if things don't work out over the next couple years im sure he will lose support to...for me I don't like the move, but its a wait and see.

Jack Hoff 1 year, 2 months ago

One thing that KU seems to lack was true QB size as well. For whatever reason we were fixated on guys under 6 feet. It's nice to have a guy who is 6'5 and appears to have break away speed and can take a hit while also dishing it out. If he can be a taller version of Ellinger at Texas then I would gladly take that! Too many times balls were batted down due to the stature of out QB.

[''] 1 year, 2 months ago

I remember a tiny number of balls that were batted down -- the majority of balls were simply off target.

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