Q-and-A with Jack Conklin Dan Leberfeld

Q)Have teams inquired about moving you to right tackle?

Jack Conklin – offensive tackle – Michigan State – I think quite a few teams about possibly playing the right side, and see how it goes into camp. A lot of teams have projected at least starting off at that right side.

Q)What does it take to stay at left side in the NFL?

Conklin: I think it just comes with athleticism.

Q)You missed two games in 2015 with a leg injury. When did he feel completely healthy?

Conklin: I’d say by end of October, I was feeling 100 percent. They had projected I’d be out four to six weeks and I came back after two weeks, came back for Michigan game, didn’t miss a beat.

Q)Why leave college a year early?

Conklin: One of my goals going into college was I wanted to be an All-American. To accomplish that this year, and to be a part of the Rose Bowl team and Cotton Bowl team and then the playoff, and starting for three years, I felt this was the time to take the next step and my dream of being an NFL player.

Q)Why were you so lightly recruited coming out of Plainwell (Mich.) High School?

Conklin: It was actually crazy. I was looking on signing day to see what we got. I was thinking where was I four years ago and I was thinking I had no idea where I was going to be. To be here now four years later, possibly being a first-round pick, it’s crazy. I think about it all the time. It’s the chip-on-the-shoulder mentality that’s the thing that drives me every day to see how far I’ve come and how close I was to not having this chance.

Q)Why Michigan State?

Conklin: My dad was my head coach in high school. He told me you’re just as good as these guys, just keep working, you’re going to get that chance. In my senior spring started talking to Michigan State, coach D (Mark Dantonio) said, “Come walk on and if everything goes well we’ll put you on scholarship the second semester.

It’s crazy just to see how far I’ve come. To go from four years ago to have no idea if I was going to be on a Division 1 team going into the fall … It’s hard to take in how far I’ve come as a person and a player.

Q)Why weren’t you recruited out of high school?

Conklin: I came from small school, we didn’t know how to go about the recruiting process.

Q)Who was the best pass rusher you faced?

Conklin: Randy Gregory‚ his first 3 steps off the ball are insanely quick.

Q)Who is an NFL player you pattern yourself after?

Conklin: Joe Staley. Being a west Michigan guy — he’s from Rockford, went to Central Michigan, now he’s a Pro Bowler. It’s good watching a guy from a small town like me in Michigan to now be this stud tackle in the NFL. I couldn’t think of a better guy to watch that I would like to emulate.