With the impending switch to Todd Monken’s offense Georgia finds itself in need of not just numbers at the receiver position, but a variety of skill sets at the receiver spot. One type of player absent from the Bulldog roster for some time has been the shifty slot receiver in the Isaiah McKenzie mold. The guy who can take a five yard screen pass, make two defenders miss, then take it to the house. I’d argue they may have found a candidate for that role this afternoon with the commitment of North Murray High standout Ladd McConkey.
McConkey’s other premier offers were from the likes of Georgia Southern, Vanderbilt, and Mercer. If that doesn’t impress you, well, the guy’s 5’11, 160 pound stature probably won’t either. Nor will the fact that 247Sports ranks him the 197th best wide receiver in the class of 2020.
What just may explain why Kirby Smart made the young man who grew up a Tennessee fan such a high priority? McConkey’s game film.
Young Ladd did everything but drive the bus and cook the pregame meal for the North Murray Mountaineers. McConkey scored touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams, playing most of his offensive snaps at quarterback.
It’s a time-honored high school football strategy to put your best athlete at quarterback and just let him work. Because North Murray did that it’s a little difficult to project McConkey as a collegiate receiver. He appears to have decent ball skills based on the defensive and special teams highlights, but again, hard to say.
It’s also worth noting that region 6-AAA isn’t the toughest football gauntlet in the state. So it’s a bit unlikely that McConkey will be cutting through the SEC like a hot knife through butter quite the way he is in these highlights.
But it is clear that he has a real knack for making people miss, even in close quarters. That’s something that a lot of receivers with great straight line speed and size to win downfield battles just don’t have. McConkey looks slippery as goose droppings at any speed. At this stage of the recruiting period picking up a highly productive player at a position in need of instant contributors, who also has the potential to develop physically is a good decision. Georgia filled its needs back in December (and with the renewed pledge of tackle Broderick Jones). As a “best player available” pickup to round out the signing class, this is a good one. Until later....