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Pitt redshirt junior RB James Conner indicated that he is focusing on his conditioning.

"I’m just trying to get my body back in shape, just running, trying to get my endurance, my wind back. Just regular team workouts with our strength and conditioning coach," Conner told ESPN, "just trying to get back on little things and just work on my endurance." Earlier this offseason, he completed his chemotherapy sessions to treat Hodgkins lymphoma. His cancer is currently in remission. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder also tore his MCL last September, so it shouldn't be considered a surprise that he still has work to do when it comes to a return to true game-shape. Barring a complication with his health over the next two months, he should be ready to roll for the season-opener against Villanova the first weekend of September.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 20 - 2:35 PM

Four-star 2017 RB Todd Sibley, formerly committed to Ohio State, flipped to Pittsburgh.

Sibley pledged to the Panthers following an unofficial visit. "It was a one day visit," Sibley said. "A lot of things stood out. One thing that really got my attention was all the NFL access they have. They share the field with the Steelers and eat with the players and stuff." Sibley is a top-20 running back recruit.
Jun 15 - 6:30 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore S Jordan Whitehead is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.

Whitehead had an arthroscopic procedure performed to repair the meniscus in his left knee. There is never a good time to undergo knee surgery, but the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder hit a decent window, here, as he should be ready for August camp. Last season, Whitehead recorded 110 tackles (7.0 for loss), 0.5 sacks, an interception and six passes defended. In January, ESPN's Travis Haney wrote that Whitehead is on the progressive tract to become the Panthers' best secondary piece since Darrelle Revis.
Jun 12 - 12:09 PM

Former Pittsburgh and current Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd said Pittsburgh sophomore S Jordan Whitehead is "going to be real great."

"You can put him anywhere on the field and he's going to execute no matter what," Boyd said. Whitehead was named the ACC's Rookie and Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 after accruing 108 tackles and six pass breakups. On offense, just for fun, he logged 122 rushing yards (10.2 yards a carry) and two scores with 10 receiving yards.
Jun 2 - 4:41 PM

Pitt redshirt junior RB James Conner told reporters, "Honestly, it felt like I got drafted [after receiving the call that his cancer was in remission]."

"I was with Tyler [Boyd] on draft night and seeing him wait for the call. I felt the same," Conner said. "I was waiting for a phone call. But this is better. ... This is my life." The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder plans on being ready for the start of August camp, but stressed that his medical team will be with him every step of the way. "I'm happy. I'm celebrating, but we still have to stay on top of it and still be smart because I have to get my body back." In addition to his fight against Hodgkins lymphoma, Conner has been rehabbing from a torn MCL suffered in the season-opener last September. Pitt plays Villanova to open the 2016 season.
Source: NFL.com
May 25 - 1:01 PM

Pitt redshirt junior RB James Conner plans to be on the field for the opening of preseason camp in August.

Conner announced yesterday that he has been cleared of Hodgkins lymphoma after undergoing numerous rounds of chemotherapy. The fact that Conner will be ready for camp is no surprise; not because it isn't impressive, but because of the resiliency Conner showed throughout this entire process. Conner was even working with teammates on the field between chemotherapy treatments this spring. He could be the starter in the school's opening game.
May 24 - 10:16 AM

Pittsburgh redshirt junior RB James Conner (Hodgkins lymphoma) tweeted that he is free of cancer.

"God is AMAZING. Just got the call that my body is clean of cancer!!! Been a long road but God had my back. Thanks everyone who said prayers!" Conner wrote. He was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma shortly after tearing his right MCL against Youngstown State in the first week of the 2015 season. A week into May, he completed his 12 sessions of chemotherapy. And now the happy news that the cancer has been vanquished. Our sincere hope is that the 6-foot-2, 250-pounder can slide right back into his terrifying 2014 ways. In that season, he rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns. The team figures to monitor his health closely in August camp and might try to ease him back into the flow of the game once we hit the 2016 regular season, but he is expected -- barring any health setbacks -- to be ready for the Week 1 opener against Villanova.
May 23 - 4:59 PM

Pittsburgh senior G Dorian Johnson regressed from a +31.2 (1st in the 2017 class) to a +2.1 (30th) grade between 2014 and 2015, according to Pro Football Focus.

Johnson was the very best guard in the FBS as a true soph in 2014, per PFF's grades, due to his due to his "dominant run blocking and solid pass protection," wrote Zoltan Buday. So why was he so pedestrian last year? While Johnson actually got better in pass protection, surrendering zero sacks and no quarterback hits in 2015, he curiously struggled in the run game without battering ram James Conner behind him, regressing to a -7.8 grade compared to +25.8 in 2014.
May 11 - 1:40 PM

Pittsburgh redshirt junior RB James Conner (Hodgkins lymphoma) has completed chemotherapy.

Prepare your tear ducts for the Tom Rinaldi feature, because Conner's story is as inspiring as you'll find. Entering last season as a Heisman contender and top-shelf NFL RB prospect, Conner tore his right MCL in the opener and was diagnosed with cancer not long after. He's now completed 12 separate chemotherapy treatments, all the while rehabbing his knee. Conner is expected to be healthy for Week 1, but monitor his progress and cross your fingers for him this summer.
May 10 - 1:54 PM

Pitt WR Tyler Boyd was NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein's favorite pick of the second round.

The Bengals snatched up Boyd at pick No. 55 on Day 2, adding a potential Robin to A.J. Green's Batman (making Tyler Eifert Alfred, obviously). Wrote Zierlein, "When Green is being double-teamed, Boyd has the ability to rack up a lot of catches, which is something the Bengals didn't have before." The 6-foot-2, 197-pound Pitt star won't blow away NFL defenders with his speed, but is already polished in his routes and offers a sure set of hands.
Source: NFL.com
May 7 - 1:57 PM

Bengals selected Pittsburgh WR Tyler Boyd with the No. 55 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Boyd (6'2/197) left Pitt after three seasons but still set school records for catches (254) and receiving yards (3,361), averaging 13.2 yards per reception. He scored 23 college TDs; 21 as a receiver, one on a punt return, and one as a ball carrier. Boyd mixed between the slot and outside in the Panthers' pro-style offense, but may lack athleticism to consistently win on the NFL perimeter with 4.58 speed and a 34-inch vertical. On tape, Boyd was frequently tackled by the first defender and lost too many contested passes. Boyd was a sure-handed, savvy college player who projects as low-end No. 2 or high-end 3 receiver in the pros.
Apr 29 - 9:16 PM

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt believes that Pitt WR Tyler Boyd is "an NFL-ready route runner."

Brandt likes Boyd as a prospect who should be receiving a little more love in the draft conversation, due in part to the fact that he has "really good size" at 6-foot-1, 197 pounds. Brandt colleague Lance Zierlein sees Boyd as the most underrated receiver in this class. The Pitt star isn't a burner, but his strong hands and crisp routes should allow him an opportunity to carve out a role as a slot receiver in the NFL. He could be drafted as high as the second round.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 24 - 2:11 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein believes that Pitt WR Tyler Boyd is the most underrated receiver in this class.

"Is Boyd even in this draft? I never hear anyone talk about him, and he should be getting more attention," Zierlein wrote. He later added that the 6-foot-1, 197-pounder's "strong hands and ability to win the downfield 50-50 balls will help the team that takes him." We like aspects of his game, too -- those mitts are particularly appealing -- but his lack of overt athleticism could scuttle him on some draft boards.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 18 - 4:51 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks called Pitt WR Tyler Boyd an "intriguing playmaker."

Brooks sees a nice fit between Boyd and the 49ers at pick No. 37. "He might be a little undervalued due to his measurables," the analyst said on the Move the Sticks podcast, "but he has all the stuff that you look for in a receiver who can be a No. 2 target at first and maybe develop into an anchor in the passing game eventually." Though he isn't an explosive athlete ala Corey Coleman or Josh Doctson and lacks the deep speed of Will Fuller (4.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash for Fuller, just 4.60 for Boyd), the 6-foot-1, 197-pounder has one of the best pair of hands in the receiving pool. He projects as a slot receiver in the NFL.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 17 - 3:01 PM

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt noted that Pitt WR Tyler Boyd fielded punts in addition to working through wide receiver drills during his Pro Day on March 16.

Brandt wrote that Boyd "did a really good job [of catching punts]" during Pro Day. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound wideout also reportedly hauled in everything thrown his way during his more traditional wideout drills. Among the teams who took meetings with Boyd in the vicinity of that Pro Day, the Rams, Chargers and 49ers. He has also been put through an individual workout by the Panthers as he crosses his fingers for a second-round selection.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 27 - 3:39 PM


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