Player News

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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

The Panthers are working out Pitt WR Tyler Boyd and Cincinnati WRs Chris Moore and Johnny Holton on Thursday, according to Tony Pauline.

The Panthers have added receivers early on in each of the last two drafted (Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess), but they might not be done. Boyd projects best to the slot, and Moore is a role playing vertical threat. Of the group, Boyd will be drafted the earliest, likely on the second day.
Mar 17 - 10:29 AM

Pittsburgh WR Tyler Boyd met with the Jacksonville Jaguars, L.A. Rams, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers over the past few days.

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that Boyd ran the forty between the mid-4.4s and the low 4.5s at Wednesday's pro day. "He looked terrific in position drills, as was to be expected," Pauline wrote. "As someone told me, 'He caught everything that touched his hands.'" No surprise there. Boyd dropped only five catchable balls on 99 opportunities last year.
Mar 16 - 7:21 PM

Pro Football Focus only ranks Pitt WR Tyler Boyd as the No. 11 receiver in the class.

Boyd's 40 time of 4.58 at the Combine depressed his draft stock quickly. He's now universally regarded as a second-rounder, an opinion shared by PFF, which pointed out that he dropped only five balls on 99 catchable passes last year. "If there’s an issue, it’s that he forced just six missed tackles on 94 receptions in 2015, but he should find a role in the NFL if he can maintain such a low drop rate," wrote Gordon McGuiness. To be fair, early reports out of Pitt indicate that Boyd ran the 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds at his Wednesday pro day. We'll update you on an exact number once we can verify one.
Mar 16 - 12:28 PM

Pittsburgh junior RB James Conner (Hodgkins lymphoma) participated in the team's first spring practice on Tuesday.

It's impossible not to be impressed by Conner's resilience (unless your heart is made of stone). He had just completed his eighth round of chemotherapy on Monday, but that didn't stop him from taking part in Pitt's first practice of 2016. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound junior went through calisthenics and handoff drills on Tuesday. His oncologist, Dr. Stanley Marks, is of the opinion that he'll be able to play in the coming season. During a healthy 2014 campaign, Conner rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Mar 15 - 1:30 PM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Pitt WR Tyler Boyd as the No. 59 prospect in the class.

"Was at his best in 2015 in the slot, using his limited athleticism in that area to create separation thanks to detail and a willingness to make contested catches or grabs in tight spaces," Norris wrote. "That is where he projects best." The 6-foot-1, 197-pounder logged a receiving line of 91-926-6 last year and a 78-1,261-8 line in 2014 (his YPC dropped from 16.2 to just 10.2 in 2015). Pitt's pro day is on Wednesday.
Source: Rotoworld
Mar 14 - 8:49 PM

Pitt redshirt junior DE Reggie Green will transfer.

No word as to where Green might choose to wander, but he's no longer listed on the Pittsburgh roster. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder redshirted in 2013 before suffering a foot fracture against Delaware in the 2014 season-opener. He did not accumulate any statistical production of note during his time with the Panthers.
Mar 14 - 2:27 PM


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