Conner Learning The Ropes

James Conner rushed for 1,680 yards and 21 touchdowns, on his way to all-stat honors at McDowell High School. Now, he's getting an early shot at running the ball in college.

Even though he committed to Pittsburgh during the summer of his junior year, as he continued to talk with the coaching staff, there began talk of him trying two positions.

Conner was initially recruited as a linebacker/defensive end type of player, after his performance at the Pitt prospect camp in June of 2012.

After a big senior year, and with room at the position, Pitt would list him as a running back, in its 2013 signing class.

"The more we watched him, we knew this guy was a football player," Conner said. "We're going to start him at running back. That guy is a football player."

With the graduation of Ray Graham and the transfer of Rushel Shell--there's certainly room. There's still upperclassmen like Isaac Bennett and Malcolm Crockett, who will get the first crack at it.

Even so, the position needs some practice bodies. While the position gets some help numbers wise, true freshmen Conner and Rachid Ibrahim get the best shot at reps, and the earliest way to the field for both of them. It's no guarantee that either will play this year, let alone start. Conner was in awe of simply taking his first snaps at running back, in his first collegiate practice.

""I'm glad he's here and he's working," Chryst said. "After day one, he's earned the right to stay at running back for day two."

Here is Conner's full interview from Tuesday:

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