At 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, you wouldn't peg 2022 offensive tackle recruit Josh Conerly as a former running back. Conerly considers himself a unique athlete, mainly because of his basketball background and experience playing running back and tight end.
After a lifetime of running between the tackles and catching passes, Conerly finally made the switch to offensive tackle. His sophomore year of high school at Rainier Beach was the first full year he played the position, saying it was a great learning experience.
"I fell in love with it and I feel like my ability to bend and move are probably my biggest strengths," Conerly said. "With my length as well, I feel I'm able to cover a lot of ground."
Because he was once a running back and tight end, Conerly knows exactly what each position needs out of an offensive tackle to have success.
"When I was a running back, I knew exactly what I wanted from my alignment so now I know what holes to open up for my running back," Conerly said. "From being a tight end, I feel like that really opened up my eyes on how to really block. When you have to fill the edge and kick somebody out as a tight end, it takes a lot of technique and when you're playing tackle it's an every play situation."
It's that athletic ability at his size and the knowledge he possesses that has college programs excited over his potential. Conerly was officially offered by the Tigers on May 22 while supporting a friend of his at a food drive.
Conerly said the offer was shocking to him as he had never really communicated with the LSU staff in any way, shape or form.
"I thought it was just going to be one of those calls where the coaching staff essentially like introduces themselves to you but when they offered me, getting an offer from the national champs is game changing," Conerly said. "They like the way I move, the way I finish my plays and that I really match their style on offense."
Currently the No. 8 ranked offensive tackle and No. 95 overall player according to 247Sports, the Seattle product holds offers from prominent programs like Oklahoma, Michigan, USC, Oregon and Tennessee.
Conerly said he's unsure if he'll take a visit to Baton Rouge in the fall and hasn't made any official plans to at this time. When the Tigers did make the offer it immediately shot them up the list of schools Conerly is considering.
"They're the defending national champs and their culture is really unmatched. You could see it on the field last year," Conerly said. "I won't study individual players but I'll study an entire line because I feel like I could play any position on the line. I like how they [LSU] worked as one unit and how they were in sync pretty much every play."
He does want to keep in contact with the LSU staff as much as possible while continuing to learn about its offense and the kind of role he'd have with the program. Rainier Beach primarily ran the spread in his sophomore year but Conerly thinks it’ll gravitate towards more of a run heavy offense in 2020.
Pretty much on a daily basis, Conerly said he'll be doing some kind of strength and conditioning as well as position work he feels he needs to improve on heading into an important junior season.
Because he was so new to the position just a season ago, Conerly said there are areas he's worked really hard on in the offseason, mainly improving his hand placement in the pass blocking game.
"It was hard for me to get a perfect pass set last season and recently I've been able to figure out a lot better hand placement," Conerly said. "Once you really know how to set, get the feel for it, you gain more confidence in yourself and it's made me a better player."
Conerly is a born and raised Seattle native but said he has family that's from Louisiana, family that of course he knows but doesn't know well. If he were to one day commit and sign with LSU, he said it'd provide him with a chance to get to know his family down south a little bit better.
"It would be amazing to be able to do something like that," Conerly said. "It would be a great opportunity to get to know them and let them really know who I am as a player."