In 2015, Pittsburgh Panthers running back James Conner was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In 2016, Conners had overcome his cancer and rushed for 1,060 yards. Come 2017, Conner says he’s headed for the NFL.
The redshirt junior announced his decision to enter the 2017 NFL draft on Twitter Saturday.
Forever Grateful. pic.twitter.com/B8wXA9ABZz
— James Conner (@JamesConner_) December 10, 2016
Conner had 20 total touchdowns this past season and was the recipient of the 2016 Disney Sports Spirit Award, which recognizes college football’s most inspirational figure.
Conner revealed his cancer diagnosis last December. He completed 12 chemotherapy sessions before returning to the gridiron this season.
Pittsburgh Panthers running back James Conner — who rushed for 1,060 yards in 2016, one season after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma — has declared for the 2017 NFL draft.
Conner, a redshirt junior who also scored 20 total touchdowns, announced his decision on his Twitter account Saturday.
“I don’t know if mere words can adequately express how I feel about James Conner,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi wrote on Twitter. “His strength, his courage and his kindness have impacted all of us beyond measure. I’m forever grateful to be part of his life these past two years.”
Conner has 56 career touchdowns, which is the most in ACC history. His 3,701 career rushing yards rank second in Pitt history, just behind Tony Dorsett.
Named the 2014 ACC Player of the Year, Conner has continued racking up accolades, even being named a first-team All-ACC selection.
Conner’s final games come on Dec. 28 when No. 23 Pittsburgh takes on Northwestern in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.