Thursday, Conner was named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Doak Walker Award, annually presented to the nation’s top college running back.
Just last week, Conner was put on the watch list for the Maxwell Award--given to college football’s overall player of the year. He was also named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the country’s most versatile player.
As a true freshman in 2013, Conner led Pitt in rushing yards (799) and rushing touchdowns (eight), becoming the first freshman to lead the Panthers in those two categories since Dion Lewis in 2009. He averaged 5.5 yards on 146 carries in 12 games.
Conner ended his season with a high-note, no question a major factor in him being named to these preseason watch lists--rushing for 229 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries (8.8 avg.). His rushing yardage set a Pitt bowl record, eclipsing Tony Dorsett's 202 yards vs. Georgia in the Jan. 1, 1977, Sugar Bowl. Conner also contributed as a pass rushing specialist vs. Bowling Green, drawing a key holding call on the Falcons' final possession, and was named the bowl’s MVP.
Pitt opens training camp on August 4, and will kick off its 2013 season against Delaware on August 30 at noon.