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#34 Days Until Pitt Football: Craig Heyward

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If you spend any time on Twitter, you no doubt have seen people posting certain Pitt players wearing uniform numbers that correspond with the number of days left until the football season kicks off. Jim did it last year and this year, Pat Narduzzi has been doing it.

I know we have a lot of younger readers here and also some folks that may not have spent their entire lives following Pitt sports. For that reason, I thought it would be cool to not only do the countdown here, but also give a brief writeup on the player to potentially help fans connect a little more with some of the all-time greats.

Quick disclaimer - this isn't necessarily about picking the best player for each number. Not only is that disputable in many instances, but it's not really the point of the exercise. So don't be offended if your favorite player doesn't make the list here. I'll probably mirror Narduzzi's list for the most part but may go off the board in a few instances.

These will also be brief, folks. It's the offseason and we all use this time to wind down a bit. These won't be theses or anything, but we'll cobble together a few facts for each guy.

Finally, feel free to add on to a player's accomplishments in the comments section. Some I'll leave out due to space/time and some I may not even know about. But this will be a good learning exercise for all of us.

Continuing our countdown today is running back Craig Heyward.

Heyward was one of the team's most prolific backs. After a modest freshman campaign, Heyward's Pitt career started to take off as a sophomore when he racked up more than 1,100 yards rushing and receiving with nine touchdowns. That season was dwarfed by a monster year in 1987 when he ran for 1,791 yards and 12 touchdowns. That season he earned consensus first-team All-American honors and left for the NFL in 1988.

Heyward was taken by the New Orleans Saints with the 24th overall pick in the first round and went on to a long pro career. He played 11 years in the league and was a Pro Bowler in 1995 when he ran for a personal-best 1,083 yards. Tragically, he died at the age of 39 after a bout with cancer.

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