Sunday December 6th, 2015

UNC receiver Ryan Switzer honored Pitt running back James Conner, who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, on his cleats during Saturday’s ACC title game.

Switzer, a junior receiver and punt returner for the Tar Heels. tweeted out a message Saturday night with an image of his cleats bearing the hashtag #ConnerStrong in permanent marker. Conner, the 2014 ACC Player of the Year, announced his diagnosis on Friday and enters chemotherapy next week. Tumors in his neck and chest were discovered over Thanksgiving. Conner’s doctor projected his cure rate at 85-95 percent, a positive outlook long-term.

Conner, a junior, has missed the majority of this season after tearing a knee ligament in Pitt’s season-opener. He plans to return to the team once healthy.

“One year ago today I was asking myself, 'Why me?'" Conner said in a statement. "Why was I the lucky one to be getting the ACC Player of the Year award when I had so many teammates who deserved it as much as me? Now one year later, instead of asking, 'Why me?' I am saying, 'Why not me?’ I can beat cancer.”

North Carolina and Clemson battle Saturday night for the ACC championship.

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