July 20th, 2024

McLachlan’s NFL dream comes true

By Lethbridge Herald on May 1, 2024.

Herald Photo by Justin Seward Tanner McLachlan speaks in front of a crowd during his NFL draft celebration at LCI on Wednesday night.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Tanner McLachlan’s dream of playing professional football  became reality at the NFL draft over the weekend.

The local tight end was picked in the sixth round at 194th overall  out of the University of Arizona by the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday.

“Super special,” said McLachlan, during an interview prior to his draft celebration at LCI on Wednesday night.

“It’s something that I’ve been working for my whole life. So to be able to experience that with my family and [be] back in my hometown to get that phone call was just a dream come true.”

The communication between McLachlan and the Bengals was standard.

“I met with them at the combine, did the Zoom interviews afterwards, met with the coaching staff and I definitely didn’t know I was headed there,” he said.

“Most people, when they go through the process, they kind of have an idea but I had no clue and I’m happy it went that way. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

He expects himself to challenge for a roster spot immediately.

“That’s the beauty of sports is you’re competing every rep , every game, every practice, whatever it may be,” he said.

 “So I’m going to go in there, I’m going to make as much of an impact as I can and we’ll see what way everything falls.”

McLachlan had a simple answer for taking catches from quarterback Joe Burrow.

“I hope it’s plenty of catches from Joe Burrow,” he said.

McLachlan spoke about making an impact at the draft and being from Lethbridge.

“It feels super important to myself just because I feel like I got a lot I need to accomplish and I need to do at this next level,” said McLachlan.

“For me, it’s a blessing, I’m very proud to be the one that’s doing it and I know I got the support of southern Alberta on my back, and it’s going to motivate me to keep working and to go do some great things in the NFL.”

McLachlan felt coach Darren Majeran was huge for him in football.

“We’ve stayed in contact ever since I left LCI,” said McLachlan.

“He knows I love LCI football as much as he does. He might say he loves it a little bit more. But I really do love it and I’m super grateful  that I was able to be a part of this program. But he’s been a great mentor, a great coach and a good friend.”

He had a chip on his shoulder while playing at LCI.

“You guys mentioned it earlier, there’s not very many people to do this,” said McLachlan.

“So to be the guy that’s doing it from LCI [with a]  huge chip on my shoulder and it just motivates me to keep working.”

David Lowry was his former coach at LCI.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Lowry.

“One he’s fantastic kid, obviously worked his butt off, went through some challenges, pushed through and it’s a really special thing what he’s done to be able to get to this level.”

 “I don’t know when he was young  if I really ever envisioned him making it to the big time but certainly I saw him as a go getter,,” said his father Sheldon.

“He had the mindset to do what needed to be done to get things accomplished.  And he’s always had a lot of grit and determination, and always excelled …  So in some ways it doesn’t surprise me that he’s been able to go as far as he has.”

 It was while at University of Arizona that McLachlan set a new school  record as a tight end with 79 receptions last season which surpassed previous leader and NFL Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski

He was also drafted by the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL draft on Tuesday.

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