CHATSWORTH, Ga. — There’s a story in North Georgia that sounds like it even has the mountains talking. Even at the super-friendly meat-and-three in the middle of town. Everyone has something to say about Ladd McConkey and his football career.
This has been an unusual progression of events.
While those patrons stab their forks and spoons into their Thursday night meal, they think they know what is going on with McConkey.
Or at least sound like they do.
McConkey wasn’t really a quarterback but still led North Murray to its best season in history this year. The Mountaineers went 11-2 and reached the quarterfinals of the GHSA state playoffs.
The boys even beat their rival for the first time. Before this year, North Murray had never pulled within three touchdowns of Calhoun when time was up. The Mountaineers whipped them by 24 points this time.
McConkey was at receiver as as sophomore and junior, but this year he was the quarterback. He’s still a slight young man, but has shot up like Grandma made him eat three eggs and chug three glasses of milk every day the last two years.
He punted and held for kicks, but also lined up at defensive back (four INTs and three Pick-6s) and returned kicks on special teams. He was a big spark. Everywhere. Every game. Every quarter.
The folks here will not be swayed by his 247Sports Composite star ranking. Or the lack thereof.
They might feel it would take a mason jar’s worth of pennies in his back pocket for him to step on a scale right now and for it to say 175 pounds. Maybe.
But do they ever know that once he gets loose, nobody can catch him. He was even the best leader on the best team North Murray had ever had this year, too. That’s what Kirby Smart is looking for, too.
McConkey can run the 40 in 4.5 seconds, but his GPA is even higher than that. Smart recently told him just how unusual that feat would be among the 2020 signing class on his team.
He also ran track last spring. It was his other sport along with basketball. But that was only two or three meets. Despite that, he was able to clock an impressive 10.85 time in the 100 meters.
It was his very first meet. Things like that just seem to happen out of the blue for him.
North Murray senior ATH Ladd McConkey has been offered by UGA to play WR and return kicks. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Ladd McConkey: The talk of this North Georgia town
He will take an official visit to Georgia on the final weekend of this month. If he’s being honest, he never really saw this late scholarship offer from UGA coming.
There just wasn’t the context or any other big offer to plant the seed that it just might happen.
But it did.
“It was kind of surreal,” Ladd McCoskey said while describing that offer. “Exciting moment. It was really crazy for me and my family. We just try to take everything in and take a big deep breath but it really was crazy. It was definitely a blessing and it was a special moment.”
The talk of those tables at the meat-and-three would go something like this:
“Did you see Kirby Smart came to town this week? Georgia offered that McConkey boy at North Murray. Georgia! Their head coach was here and was so down-to-earth and humble. He must have posed for pictures the whole first half of the basketball game on Monday night. He even stayed the whole game. I even saw him taking a picture with that Tech fan who goes to our church. That one Tech fan!”