featured photo credit: Matt Hamilton, Dalton Daily Citizen
Poag to McConkey might be an all too familiar combination for opponents of North Murray this season. The 2020 wide receiver has quickly emerged as the top brass at receiver after the graduation of All-State receiver Connor Rice, who left a statistical vacuum after his 1000-yard senior season last fall. Enter Ladd McConkey, senior QB Preston Poag’s new favorite target.
McConkey has taken well to the uptick in reps for North Murray, even winning Player of the Game in early September against Ringgold where his impact was felt both on offense with several grabs including a 30-yard score, and on defense where he had multiple PBU’s. But no play was bigger than on Week 8 against Coahulla Creek.
The junior was almost impossible to tackle the whole game using his long quick-like strides to escape out of tackles. McConkey fielded a rugby punt around midfield, sauntered over to the left, which created a seam to the right that he just exploded through and down the right sideline. With one man left to beat, the ever elusive McConkey made a lightening quick cut back that sent the defender diving out of bounds, and he easily trotted into the endzone for the score, and the #4 play in the state of Georgia.
When talking about the 2018 season, the North Murray junior feels good about where his team is at. “My junior year has been good so far. We are 5-3 and in a good spot to make the playoffs,” McConkey said.
The 2020 recruit has over 400 yards receiving on the season, and has sent back two kickoffs and two punts back for a score. It’s really a wonder how many returns the junior can make this season, but with a total of 4 so far, he should be on most media outlets’ radar for All-State in the postseason.
McConkey’s goals for this season are simple. “A few I have set for the season were to make the big plays, like the hard catches, and to just be consistent every game.”
That has definitely been the case so far, as McConkey has become the favorite target for Poag, it seems, and at any point in time he can create a momentum-changing special teams play. As of right now though, the 2020 recruit has yet to receive any contact from colleges, and has no visits planned currently.
At 5’11”, and 160 lbs, McConkey has a slight frame for the gridiron, but his ability to change directions, and accelerate is very impressive. Couple that athletic prowess with over a 4.3 GPA, and 1170 SAT score; now you are cooking with recruiting gasoline. Patience should always be issued for any junior recruit, as the recruiting game is a fickle beast, but McConkey’s production alone should grab colleges’ attention at the very least.
McConkey wants to add more weight, and becoming more physical, which are the two key areas he wants to improve over the next year. There is a lot to like for the 2020 recruit, and he is certainly a player who can make an impact as a slot receiver and special teams player at the next level.