Paul Chryst named the team's Conley Award winners for 2012 (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Pitt's coaches announced Ryan Turnley and Shayne Hale as the offensive and defensive winners of the Ed Conway Award for 2012. The award is given to the most improved players after spring practices.
Both selections are noteworthy for a few reasons.
Turnley's selection is good to hear on the offensive front. He started at center for an offensive line that was much maligned last year. With the loss of Lucas Nix, there are still more questions for the unit this season, but having Turnley back in there to provide some stability will be good for the team. He was solid last season and it's great to hear that he's improved to the level that he could win this award.
And think about this - with the spring that Isaac Bennett had, it's even more amazing that Turnley stood out this much.
Hale winning the defensive award is also something significant.
Ever since being a heavily recruited defensive standout, from Gateway, Hale hasn't done all that much at Pitt. Hard to believe that he's a senior because you just haven't heard his name all that much. He redshirted as a true freshman and has only played sparingly in three seasons at Pitt. This is his last shot and it seems like he's making the most of it. He's being mentioned as a candidate to start this season and at the very least, should be playing the most he has in his career.