Exclusive interview with Idaho State WR Tanner Conner: NY Jets interest, playing TE, and more

NY Jets, Tanner Conner
NY Jets, Tanner Conner / Loren Orr/GettyImages
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NY Jets, Tanner Conner
NY Jets, Tanner Conner / Loren Orr/GettyImages

Balancing track and football

JF: "It's funny how that works. You're originally there on a track visit, and you end up as a 'walk-on' track athlete. So you touched on it a little bit, having to balance that lifestyle. How did you balance both running track and playing football while trying to have any sort of a life?" [laughs]

TC: "It was hard, especially because college is more demanding than sports. But growing up as a three-sport athlete in high school, I was already used to sports being all year round. Obviously, our football program wasn't the greatest, so our season would usually be done by Thanksgiving. I would do football in the fall, take my Thanksgiving break off which was about a week, and then I would start indoor track training after that. That indoor would transition into outdoor track, and I would do that and spring football at the same time. That was probably the most ludicrous thing I did because sometimes you're practicing both on the same day. Then, after that, spring football would end and track would usually go through May. So my track year would go basically until the end of May, and then I would go back into training for football right after that. It was a hard grind. At first, it wasn't really bothering me, but definitely toward the end of my career, the total volume I was putting in for both sports started to hit me. But I don't regret it. I had a great track career and I had a great football career as well."

JF: "At least going into the NFL, now you'll have some semblance of an offseason. I know it's still a year-round process, but at least now you won't have any track meets in the spring."

TC: "Yeah, for sure."

Working out at Washington's pro day

JF: "You had the opportunity to work out at Washington's pro day. What was that experience like for you, being able to compete with so many talented players, and so close to where you grew up?"

TC: "It was awesome. My agent did a really good job convincing them to let me in. UW didn't have any receivers coming out, they needed a receiver for their quarterback to throw to. And so my agent hooked me up there. I was within the radius that they allow. I was only like 40 minutes out from them because I lived in Kent, Washington. I went up there and go to do my pro day in front of way more scouts. I think we had 29 teams in attendance, and I was able to do it in front of potential first and second-round picks with the DBs they had. Being able to show out on the different tests they had in front of some really good NFL talent was big for me because it showed them that I had the type of talent that everyone else had. They would have never known if they never saw me in person. I tested well, ran good routes, and they even had me do some tight end drills after. It was a blessing for me and definitely boosted my draft stock. A lot of scouts told me they were really impressed so that was a great opportunity for me. And like you said, doing it close to home, it was pretty much a perfect situation."