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Janie Harris | NCAA.com | December 10, 2016

Pitt RB James Conner to enter NFL draft

  Conner announced on Saturday that he plans to enter the 2017 draft.

Pitt’s running back James Conner announced on his Twitter Saturday afternoon that he plans to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

In his announcement, he notes how grateful he has been to receive the opportunity to play at Pitt.

Pat Narduzzi, Pitt’s head football coach, said on Twitter: “James [Conner] and I have had many conversations about his dreams and aspirations, both in football and life. We know he will continue to make us proud as he takes his next step to the NFL.”

RELATED: Conner, Schmidt finally meet after both battling cancer

The announcment comes after an incredible comeback year for the 6-2, Pennsylvania native. Connor, after sitting out for a torn MCL in 2015 and overcoming Hodgkin lymphoma in the offseason, rushed for 1,060 yards and 16 touchdowns this year. He also nabbed a few passes for about 300 yards and four touchdowns. He ranks sixth in the nation for total touchdowns and seventh for points responsible for.

RELATED: Pitt RB James Conner returns cancer free with two TDs

Before his injury and diagnosis, he was named the 2014 Player of the Year after rushing 1,765 yards for 26 touchdowns. 

This year, he was awarded first team All-ACC honors and was the 2016 recipient of the Disney Sports Spirt Award.

His last game as a Panther comes in the form of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28 against Northwestern. 

“We are going to cherish our remaining time and hard work together to finish the 2016 season on a great, memorable note,” Narduzzi said on Twitter. 

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