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James Conner wins Disney Sports Spirit Award, Brian Piccolo Award

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Pitt running back had a pretty special season for Pitt's football team by any measure. With 1,080 yards on the ground, 299 receiving yards, and 20 total touchdowns, Conner was one of the best running backs in the ACC. But considering everything he battled this offseason, it made his year even more special. Recently, he was awarded with both the Brian Piccolo Award and the Disney Sports Spirit Award. On Thursday night, he formally received the Disney award.

Conner first was knocked out for the year in the 2015 opener against Youngstown State. But before year's end, he learned his battle to get back onto the field was just beginning as he was diagnosed with cancer. Conner's career wasn't just in doubt, but his life was at risk.

How did he respond? In a superhuman way.

Conner amazed by not only participating in some spring drills in between chemotherapy treatments, but he did approximately 90% to 95% of what the regular team participants were doing. After his treatments this year, he was declared cancer free and the rest is history.

The Piccolo Award is given to the ACC's most courageous player and Conner won that award last week. Conner seemed like a slam dunk for that but he also got respect on a national level by winning Disney's Sports Spirit Award, given to the most inspirational figure in all of college football. When you look at all of the people (and teams) who have won the award, it's an impressive list.

It goes without saying but it's great to see Conner get the recognition he deserved after going through so much this offseason.

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