Ladd McConkey and Phil McConkey are both wide receivers who have played in the National Football League (NFL), but are they related? The answer is no, they are not related by blood or marriage. However, they do share some similarities and differences in their football careers and personal lives. Here is a brief overview of the two players and their achievements.
Ladd McConkey: The Rising Star of Georgia Bulldogs
Ladd McConkey is a sophomore wide receiver for the Georgia Bulldogs, who won the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship. He was born on November 11, 2001, in Chatsworth, Georgia, and attended North Murray High School, where he played multiple positions and earned local honors. He was a three-star recruit and committed to the University of Georgia on February 2, 2020.
McConkey redshirted his first year at Georgia and was initially a member of the scout team. In his redshirt freshman year, he caught five touchdowns with 28 receptions for 430 yards and also rushed for one touchdown. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after the 34-10 win over Auburn, where he received 135 yards and scored one touchdown. He played in all of Georgia’s games making seven starts.
In his sophomore year, McConkey caught seven touchdowns with 58 receptions for 762 yards and also rushed for two touchdowns. He scored two touchdowns, one receiving and one rushing, against Oregon in the season opener. He recorded a career-high six receptions against Kent State and a season-high 94 yards against Tennessee. He left the SEC Championship Game against LSU due to knee tendinitis but returned for the CFP National Championship Game, where he recorded five receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns in a 65–7 victory.
McConkey is a middle child and grew up a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers. His father, Benji McConkey, was a star quarterback in high school, while his brother, Hinton McConkey, played quarterback for the University of West Georgia in Division II in 2018. McConkey writes “1-20-16” on his towel before games to honor his late grandfather Vic McConkey. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2023 with a degree in finance.
Phil McConkey: The Super Bowl Hero of New York Giants
Phil McConkey is a former wide receiver who played for the New York Giants (1984–1988), Green Bay Packers (1986), Phoenix Cardinals (1989), and San Diego Chargers (1989) of the NFL. He was born on February 24, 1957, in Buffalo, New York, and attended Canisius High School, where he played both defensive back and wide receiver and did not lose a game in his last three seasons. He earned an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he played college football for the Navy Midshipmen.
McConkey caught 56 passes for 1,028 yards, while also gaining 1,039 special teams return yards and scoring 13 touchdowns (10 receiving, two rushing and one punt return) at Navy. He graduated in 1979 with a degree in political science and served as a helicopter pilot for five years before pursuing his NFL dream.
McConkey signed with the Giants as a free agent in 1984 at age 27 and became a fan favorite for his hustle and clutch plays. He caught 67 passes for 1,113 yards and two touchdowns in his five seasons with the Giants. He also returned punts and kickoffs for 1,832 yards and 1,324 yards respectively. He played in two Super Bowls with the Giants, winning Super Bowl XXI against the Denver Broncos. In that game, he caught two passes for 50 yards, including a famous flea-flicker touchdown from Phil Simms that gave the Giants a 26-10 lead.
McConkey also played briefly for the Packers in 1986 before returning to the Giants later that season. He finished his career with stints with the Cardinals and the Chargers in 1989.
McConkey is of Irish descent and grew up in a Catholic family. His father, Joe McConkey, was a Buffalo police officer who also worked side jobs to pay for Phil’s education. His mother, Jean McConkey (1936–2013), was a homemaker who raised Phil and his sister, Debbie. McConkey married his high school sweetheart, Susan O’Leary, in 1979 and they have four children: Kelly, Megan, Patrick and Ryan.
Ladd McConkey and Phil McConkey are both successful wide receivers who have played in the NFL, but they are not related. They have different backgrounds, paths and eras in their football careers, but they also share some common traits, such as their versatility, work ethic and passion for the game. They are both examples of how hard work and perseverance can pay off in the sport of football.