UW Huskies’ Kaleb McGary prepares for job interviews galore as NFL draft approaches

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Washington's Kaleb McGary holds the Apple Cup trophy aloft after a 28-15 win against Washington State on November 23, 2018, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. Washington won, 28-15. (Dean Rutz/Seattle Times/TNS)

Kaleb McGary will dwell on meetings now, and mountains later.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for Washington’s fifth-year senior right tackle, who impressed at the NFL combine last month before participating in positional drills at the program’s Pro Day on Monday. The 6-foot-8, 324-pound mass of finely tuned muscle ran the 40-yard dash in 5.05 seconds in Indianapolis, pumped out 23 bench-press reps of 225 pounds and registered a pleasantly surprising 33.5-inch vertical jump.

But how much of that even matters?

“This stuff ... some of it translates to football, but not much of it,” McGary said Monday. “I would argue that a lot of this doesn’t show the football player that you are. It shows the athlete that you are.

“You don’t necessarily need to be a wonderful athlete to be a great football player. But it helps. So I’m as excited as anybody else to get back to just playing football.”

But before he does that, McGary must board a flight, and then another. Local draft analyst Rob Rang reported Monday that McGary has no less than 14 meetings scheduled with NFL teams in the coming weeks. According to Rang, the back-to-back first-team all-Pac-12 selection will travel to meet with Carolina, Green Bay, Jacksonville, the Los Angeles Rams, New England and Washington, while coaches from Atlanta, Arizona, Buffalo, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland, New Orleans and the New York Giants will arrive in Seattle to see McGary.

For the next few weeks, at least, McGary has a job interview just about every day.

“I swear to God, I have a meeting with like every team ... which is cool. It’s a pretty good problem to have,” McGary said. “I’ve got over a dozen-plus visits scheduled. Teams are flying me out, flying in. So I’m going to be doing a lot of that and then trying to lift and stay in shape when I’m here for like a day in this whole month.”

Of course, all of that will conclude with the NFL draft, which will be held in Nashville, Tenn., from April 25 to 27. Some supposed draft experts have McGary leaving the board as early as the second round.

But regardless of where he goes, there’s no doubt where he wants to be.

“If I had it my way, I’d be (spending the draft) in the mountains somewhere,” McGary said. “But the cell signal is kind of hard to come by up there. So I’ll just settle for somewhere in the woods with my family. Maybe a cabin somewhere. I’ll be with my family, though.”

McGary was back with his football family Monday, several months after taking home the 2018 Morris Trophy, which is awarded to the Pac-12’s premier offensive lineman. When the Huskies open spring practice Wednesday, they’ll do so with a nearly 7-foot hole along the right side of their line.

But considering UW returns four Rose Bowl starters, plus experienced senior Jared Hilbers, McGary -- a career 47-game starter -- doesn’t seem concerned.

“I feel like the O-line is in good hands,” McGary said.

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