Conner will wear No. 40 at University of Pittsburgh

   July 18, 2013 12:00 pm    0

 

 

McDowell graduate, James Conner, back row, second from left, was among the Pitt freshman football players who paid a visit to the Mel Blount Youth Home July 12 in Claysville, Pa.

McDowell graduate, James Conner, back row, second from left, was among the Pitt freshman football players who paid a visit to the Mel Blount Youth Home July 12 in Claysville, Pa. UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH PHOTO

 

James Conner

James Conner

Pitt has posted its 2013 football roster online, and former McDowell standout James Conner will wear No. 40.

Conner, a freshman who stands 6 feet 2 inches and weighs 230 pounds, will play running back. He was a standout runner and defensive lineman for the Trojans, so Pitt could have placed him on either side of the ball. He initially was recruited as a defensive end, but Pitt switched him to running back after Conner rushed for 1,680 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior.

There’s a gaping hole in the Panthers’ backfield this season because the two leading rushers, Ray Graham (1,042 yards) and Rushel Shell (641 yards), will not return. Graham has signed as a free agent with the Houston Texans, while Shell left the Pitt program after his freshman year.

The leading returning rusher is junior Isaac Bennett, who had 141 yards on 29 carries. That could leave an opening for a freshman like Conner to make a push for playing time this fall.

Members of the Pitt football team visited the Mel Blount Youth Home on July 12. Check out a Pitt photo gallery from the event.

The Panthers open the season – their first in the ACC — against Florida State on Sept. 2 at Heinz Field.

 

 

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