As NFL teams open training camp this week, it’s not Richard Sherman, Dak Prescott or J.J. Watt on fans’ brains. It’s Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back James Conner.
Thanks to a strong and passionate Steelers’ fan base, Conner leads the league in jersey sales this week. But, there’s a good reason why.
New week, wow. Top spot! pic.twitter.com/Z2cZ0AHWHr
— James Conner (@JamesConner_) July 25, 2017
The former Pitt star is a survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. During 12 weeks of chemotherapy treatment following his diagnosis in 2015, he continued to work out and practice as much as he could with a port in his chest and a surgical mask on his face.
Just before his senior season, he went into remission. That year, he ran for 20 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards.
It’s no wonder the Steelers selected him in the third round (105th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.
TFW you’re James Conner and you just got drafted by the Steelers pic.twitter.com/t6uP1fdfWr
— 🅱eau 🅱erman (@BeauWTAE) April 29, 2017
Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams may be ahead of him on the depth chart, but when it comes to tenacity, Conner has them beat. Who knows? Maybe that quality will land him a starting role down the road.
Until then, many in black and gold will proudly display “Conner” on their backs, to pay tribute to a guy who already plays the hand he’s dealt like a Pro Bowler. That’s worth waving a yellow towel for.