Pitt running back James Conner announces cancer diagnosis

0:49 | College Football
Pitt RB James Conner diagnosed with cancer
Friday December 4th, 2015

University of Pittsburgh running back James Conner announced his diagnosis of stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma on Friday, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Sam Werner.

Conner, the 2014 ACC Player of the Year, will begin chemotherapy next week. The treatment is expected to last nearly six months.

The junior was diagnosed with cancer on Thanksgiving, when tumors in his neck and chest were discovered.

“When I heard those words–‘You have cancer’–I admit I was scared,” Conner said in a release. “But after thinking about it for a bit, I realized that fear is a choice. I choose to not fear cancer. I choose to fight it, and I will win.”

• ESTES: What to watch for in Week 14’s biggest matchups

Conner has missed most of the season after he tore a ligament in his right knee during Pitt’s season opener against Youngstown State. Before his diagnosis, Conner had been deciding between returning to Pitt for his senior year or declaring for the NFL draft.

Conner, an All America selection last season, now says he will return to Pitt once he is healthy.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.