In the quest for back-to-back national championships, only the boldest Georgia football fan could have predicted that Ladd McConkey would be the leading wide receiver with two regular season games to go in 2022. However, no one saw the injury issues at this position, so it’s good to see the Dawgs have someone like McConkey to lean on and trust. With the Dawgs eyeing another title, they need someone who flies under the radar but is an absolute stud, and McConkey is that guy.
McConkey could be the first Georgia receiver since Terrence Edwards to amass over 1,000 yards in a single season. Edwards did this 20 years ago, and the list of great Georgia wide receivers not to hit this mark is long.
With George Pickens off to the NFL, offensive coordinator Todd Monken was expecting his wide receiver corps to feature production from multiple guys like AD Mitchell, Kearis Jackson, Dominick Blaylock, or Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. He needed these guys to be part of a dynamic offense to complement the best tight end room in college football. However, Mitchell got hurt, and the others have been weapons but not as consistent as the Dawgs needed them to be.
McConkey, who had a spectacular season last year, was a little overlooked in season previews. People forgot about him and the production he put up as a redshirt freshman. However, circumstances since then have changed things in that talented receiver room, and McConkey grabbed this opportunity and seized his chance.
Georgia football receiver Ladd McConkey is the most trustworthy receiver on this offense.
Alongside Brock Bowers, Darnell Washington, Kenny McIntosh, and Jackson, McConkey has shown he can flourish in this Georgia offense. What is surprising is that with 43 catches for 578 yards is now the second most effective offensive player on the roster behind the superhuman Bowers.
Against Mississippi State, McConkey recorded five catches for 71 yards. Add in a rushing touchdown for 70 yards, totaling 141 yards from scrimmage on the night — it was one of his best performances in a Georgia jersey. Before the Mississippi State performance, McConkey recorded 94 receiving yards against Tennessee.
In his last games, McConkey has scored four touchdowns. This redshirt sophomore wide receiver is hitting peak form at exactly the right point of the season.
This season, McConkey’s yardage haul is already 131 yards better than what he recorded last season, showing his rising importance in the Bulldog’s offense. He averages 13.4 yards per catch and 58 yards per game. With two regular-season games and at least two postseason games, McConkey is on track for at least an 800-yard season.
Should he continue the run of form he has shown against Tennessee and Mississippi State, McConkey could be staring down that magical 1,000-yard season.
It is clear that McConkey is playing a more pivotal role in this year’s Georgia offense. He is not only a good wide receiver with a strong vertical threat but also good speed, which helped develop his role on special teams as a punt returner. McConkey is showing us that he is close to being the complete package.
While the magical 1,000-yard season might seem a touch out of reach, McConkey’s displays against heralded SEC defenses in his last two games mean that breaking Edwards’ record is definitely within reach.
Head coach Kirby Smart preaches a team-first mindset, and we know that the players have all bought into that culture, so the concept of individual player records isn’t the main goal. Those goals are important to have because that is why Georgia is in its current position, but still, a 1,000-yard receiving season does not come around often.
AJ Green or George Pickens could not breach the 1,000-yard mark. Wouldn’t it be an incredible story if a former 2-star, ignored by most football programs, could achieve this impressive feat? McConkey has all the tangibles of a great receiver, and Georgia took that chance on him. If he breaks school history, it’ll be the moment he proves the rest of the college football world wrong for overlooking him, and that is poetic.