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Phil Steele names Pitt running back James Conner midseason All-American

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt running back James Conner got a bit of nice recognition this week when Phil Steele named him a midseason All-American. Conner was named to his third team.

After an incredibly hot start, Conner's cooled off a bit for a variety of reasons. Following those early games when he was running wild, teams certainly paid more attention to him. The quality of competition has also gotten better. Since those first three games when Pitt faced Delaware, Boston College, and FIU, the Panthers have played Iowa, Akron, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.

In addition, prior to the Virginia Tech game, Pitt's offense was just kind of predictable and running Conner up the middle wasn't as effective.

Conner is clearly out of the Heisman discussion at this point, but he's still on pace for a very good season. With 959 yards on the season, Conner is on track for 1,644 yards. That probably won't happen since it's hard to believe he'll maintain his 137 yards per game - in fact, he hasn't had a 100-yard game in more than a month. But overall, he's still in the midst of a pretty good year.

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