In one year, former Pittsburgh running back James Conner went from cancer patient to NFL running back. But, wait. It gets better.

He was drafted by his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the 105th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Conner underwent 12 weeks of chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after being diagnosed in November of 2015. However, with a port in his chest, he continued to work out and practice as much as he could with his team.

Thankfully, he went into remission just before his senior season, and proceeded to run for over 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.

On Friday night, the ultimate football reward came when he received a call from the Steelers. Take a look:


If you think this was a feel-good pick, think again.

“This is not a story about sentiment,” Steelers’ running backs coach James Saxon told CBS Pittsburgh. “This is a story about a young man that is a very good football player.”

Conner expressed his excitement on Instagram after the pick:

I’m staying home!!!!! Steeler Nation let’s get it!!!!!

A post shared by James Conner (@conner24_) on Apr 28, 2017 at 9:08pm PDT

Long gone are the days he has to wear a surgical mask to practice. Now, it’s all about football.