Clemmings, Durham, Thomas Win Conway Award

T.J. Clemmings moved from defensive end to right tackle last year, where he started all 13 games in 2013. David Durham played in all 13 games, starting 11 in his first active season at Pitt. Todd Thomas, another fifth-year senior, earned Most Improved honors for his play on special teams.

When it came to naming a Most Improved player on either side of the ball, Paul Chryst had a number of quality choices he could have made.

This spring, he went with a pair of fifth-year seniors, returning starters, who took their game to a new level this spring.

T.J. Clemmings was still learning his right tackle position a year ago. He fought off some serious competition from Dorian Johnson in training camp, and went on to start all 13 games last year.

He continued his development this spring, as one of Pitt's top offensive players, overall. Because of that, Chryst felt he was the most improved player for the offense. Clemmings also earned the award for the offense last year.

"I thought T.J. really surprised me, where he came from, from a knowledge standpoint,? offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said. "He always flashed and showed great things. I thought there was more consistency and an understanding, that showed a lot of growth."

Durham transferred to Pitt from Ohio State two years ago. In the 2012 season, where he had to sit out due to the transfer rule, Durham was moved to defensive end. He finished with 21 tackles, including a career-high four in a 14-3 win over Virginia.

Thomas is Pitt's most experienced defensive starter, with 23 career starts in his first three years. In his sophomore year, Thomas blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown, in a loss to Louisville.

It's only the second time in the 39-year history of the award that a player was awarded for his improvement on special teams. The only other time was 2006 (Kennard Cox).

Ed Conway served as the voice of Pitt football for four years. After his passing in 1974, the award was created in his honor.


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