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Ladd McConkey, Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2024 4:00 pm

Ladd McConkey, Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 1, 2024 4:00 pm

Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver joins Zach Gelb


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Auto Trader. We continue this Zach Gelb show coast to coast on the Infinity Sports Network. Let's head out to Los Angeles. The Chargers, by the way, have drafted Lad McConkie in the second round, the 34th overall pick. We all remember Lad from his days as a Georgia Bulldog where he did win two national championships.

And now we'll start his NFL journey with Jim Harbaugh and company. And Lad McConkie is here with us right now. Lad, first and foremost, congratulations. Thanks so much for doing this today. And how are you?

Yeah, yeah, thank you. I'm super excited, you know, ready to get there, get to work and kick this thing off. I'm a sucker for these draft day phone calls.

I watch a thousand of them. And I saw the three-minute version that the Chargers put out when they gave you the phone call and the elation that you had just in your voice and on your face. Relive that day for me last week, Friday night, when you get that call that the Chargers trade up and take you with the 34th overall pick. Yeah, it was amazing. I mean, it was a dream come true, honestly. You know, some I've worked for my whole life. Now I have the opportunity.

So now it's time to go make the most of it. Were you surprised it was the Chargers? I know they traded up to get you. Some people thought you were going to be a first round pick when it was the Chargers on the other end. What was that first thought? Yeah, it was weird because, you know, I didn't I didn't know they were going to trade up. And then I got the call and looked at my phone and said Chargers football.

So I just kind of told my family real quick. And so I don't know, surprised. I don't know if that's the word, but I'm happy now. So yeah, I'm good with it. We've seen a lot of receivers get into the league, rookie wide receivers and make a big time impact throughout the years right away in year one in their rookie year. What do you think you could bring to the football team here in year one? Yeah, just a guy that's going to go out there and compete. You know, don't place too much expectations out there. Like I'm just gonna go play my game and I think the rest will take care of itself. You know, did what I could do to get this point.

So just continue to do that. Put my head down, ground and go make a name for myself. Ladd McConkie here with us. Obviously college football fans, they know your name and they know your game pretty well. But you talk about playing your game. Let's say if a Los Angeles Chargers fan hasn't seen you play, how would you describe the game of one Ladd McConkie? I think I'm super competitive and I play with a lot of passion.

You can see it. I mean, make a block score, touchdown, whatever it is. I love the game football.

I love to be out there and competing against everybody. So I think you're going to see a guy that's going to leave it all out there every time he's out there. Sometimes a player will take on the personality of their head coach. Clearly you're just the new member of the Chargers. Jim Harbaugh is a new member of the organization. But when I heard that the Chargers traded for you, I'm like Ladd McConkie and Jim Harbaugh. That seems like that's a perfect match. You guys being big time football guys and the passion you bring to the game.

Yeah, definitely. I have nothing but respect for Coach Harbaugh. I'm ready to get there and build that relationship with him. So I heard you say on your draft phone call that your parents met Jim Harbaugh at Indianapolis. I'm assuming that was at the combine. I guess you weren't at that meeting. But what can you tell me when your parents, I guess, ran into Coach Jim Harbaugh?

Yeah, I mean, I wasn't there. I talked to him after that. Yeah, we saw a coach and just said hey to him, introduce ourselves.

And I mean, I don't know really what all entailed with the conversation, but it's crazy to kind of see it all come full circle. Maybe mom and dad made a deal with coach. Maybe they hyped him up. Maybe, you know, I know they're your biggest fans, but maybe they really had a positive impact. And that's why the Chargers stuck you.

If they did, I appreciate them more than they know. We're talking to Ladd McConkie right now, 34th overall pick by the Chargers in this past NFL draft. So a lot of times when we talk about quarterbacks, we talk about fit and what organization they're going to.

And that could either make their career very successful or derail their career. For a wide receiver, it's all about what quarterback you get paired up with. You have a pretty damn good one out in LA with Justin Herbert. How about what you know about his game and how excited are you to get the team up with a pretty damn good quarterback? Yeah, I'm pumped. You know, watching him play. He's a great player.

You can tell he loves the game. You know, a great leader for them and pretty good at what he does. So super, you know, pumped to get their earnest trust. Show them what I'm about.

You know, build that relationship as well. Let me take you back to Thursday because your name was hot to go towards the end of the first round. Like I watch all these mock drafts.

I hear all the commentary. Ladd McConkie was getting projected right in that like 26 to 32 range when Thursday did come and go and your name wasn't called. Just what was the mindset?

What was the mentality for Ladd McConkie? You know, at that point it was just like I just wanted to get where I was going and that's kind of how I've been this whole process. Like if it happens day one, day two, whatever it is, I'm just ready to get there. I'm ready to figure it out and go do it.

So I mean obviously you want to be drafted as high as possible but truly believe you know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. What was the feeling like on Friday when you did wake up? Did you do anything to kind of take your mind off that weight of waiting to figure out how long it was going to take for you to go in the second round? You know, I woke up and played a little golf, you know, with my brother and a couple buddies. So I went and played some golf, you know, relaxed and then came back and once we sat down to watch the draft, it didn't take too long. What's the scouting report on your golf game, just wondering, for Ladd McConkie?

It depends what hole you're watching me on. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. No, but I love to play so it was probably some good spots to play out. Yeah, I played the other weekend and the first 12 holes were absolutely brutal and then I birdied on 13. I'm like, okay, now I know why they keep on bringing you back but golf is so mental. So was the round good on Friday with all that you had on your plate and what you were thinking about? It wasn't too great, you know.

I had some good shots that, you know, keep me coming back but some that made me want to quit right there. So Ladd McConkie here with us. Your name is obviously synonymous with the success of Georgia football.

I know you're trying to write a new chapter in your NFL journey. Is it all weird to look back now at your time at Georgia with just how quickly it did go by and clearly you guys had a lot of success? Just what are the memories that come back to mind when you reflect on your time with the Bulldogs? Yeah, you know, I always tell everybody it was one of the greatest decisions I ever made coming here. So many great people that invested in me. We won some games, some national championships. So definitely, you know, I'll remember these times forever. I'm actually back in Athens right now over here.

Oh, that's pretty cool. Just get drafted and we know the Ladd McConkie grind does not stop. I was reading about your road to Georgia and I think it was your high school coach that said if it wasn't Georgia, it was probably going to be Chattanooga and then Georgia came in late. Vanderbilt then wants Georgia and that domino fell and they offered you. Then Vanderbilt came calling.

Just take me kind of through how you how you led to Athens, Georgia. Yeah, so I didn't get my offer till January of my senior year. So a couple of weeks before signing day, you know, Coach Hank was the receiver coach at that time. So he came to one of my basketball games on a Friday and then next Monday, Coach Martin, Coach Hartley came and came to my house after and kind of, you know, presented me my offer and stuff.

But it came on super late. I was probably going to go, you know, I took like my official visits to Tennessee, Chattanooga, Jacksonville State, Army West Point and then Georgia and Vanderbilt. So, you know, all over the place. But, you know, glad they took a chance on me. Was it surreal when Georgia came calling? I know they they also attended your basketball game at the time because no disrespect to those other schools.

But that's a big difference in football when you mentioned some of those other schools and then Georgia. Yeah, it was crazy. Like I was sitting there. I think I was just sitting in my room or something and I got like, hey, this is Coach Martin from UGA. Hey, this is Coach Hank from UGA. And it was just like three or four texts of coaches are like, I don't know if this, I don't know what this is about, but I like the sound of it. And then obviously, you know, they came to my game and everything like that.

And yeah, once I got up here and got around everybody, saw the facilities, it was kind of a no brainer. Kirby Smart put out a really nice message on social media the other day, thanking you and congratulating you for your time at Georgia and also getting drafted by the Chargers. What does Coach Smart mean to you? Oh, yeah, he's been so huge in my success. He's a great coach, but he's an even better person. He wants the best for everybody and all his players. So of course, you know, you're looking for somewhere to go.

Come to Georgia. And the last thing I'll ask you, I want to ask you about your old quarterback in Carson Beck. Once the 2024 draft does come and go, the 2025 draft already gets a start to have some speculation. Shadore Sanders has been talked about being the first quarterback off the board. Some have said Carson Beck. What do you think Carson Beck is going to do on a football field this year and what do you think he's capable of? Yeah, he's a stud.

Another, you know, great football player, but great guy. He knows what he wants to do and what he has to do to, you know, get where, get to go where he wants to go. So I'm excited to see him get out there and lead him and, you know, just step in to like take that next step because, you know, last year was his first year starting. This is second year. He has a whole year under his belt. So I'm super pumped about what he's going to do and, you know, the rest of the team. With what you guys accomplish at Georgia, people expect national championships. People expect him to be an early first round pick, right? Heisman Trophy. You think he's capable of checking off all those boxes?

Yeah, 100%. I mean, just seeing him grow. Those four years I was with him just on, like, on the practice field. And then when he got his opportunity, I know he's only going to continue to grow. So he's got a big year in store. Lad McConkie, congratulations on getting drafted by the Chargers.

34th overall. Really appreciate you taking a few minutes with us today. Yeah, sorry.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 16:28:39 / 2024-05-01 16:35:03 / 6

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