Pitt Panthers: James Conner Named ACC Player Of The Year


The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association selected Pitt running back James Conner as their 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year for his outstanding season.

In addition, the Erie, Pennsylvania native was also named the 2014 ACC Offensive Player of the Year. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound sophomore is the first underclassman running back, freshman or sophomore, to claim either award.

Conner enters the Panthers’ upcoming bowl game as the conference’s leading rusher with 1,675 yards on 277 carries, and leading scorer with 144 points on 24 rushing touchdowns. He is averaging six yards per carry.

The ACC Player of the Year nod went to Conner in a close vote among the 55 members of the ACSMA. The Pitt tailback garnered 16 votes to finish three in front of Florida State sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and ACC Player of the Year.

More from Pitt Panthers

Conner’s total of 24 rushing touchdowns set an ACC single-season record, and ranks second nationally. It is a Pitt school record, surpassing Tony Dorsett’s previous mark of 22. Conner has also broken Dorsett’s Pitt single-season records for total touchdowns, 23. and points scored at 140. Dorsett set each of those benchmarks 38 years ago during his 1976 Heisman Trophy season.

Earlier this week, Conner was selected first team All-ACC after leading all players with 164 votes. Joining him on the first-team were sophomore wide receiver Tyler Boyd and senior offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings. Senior offensive guard Matt Toteram was honored on the third team.

Conner led the ACC Offensive Player of the Year balloting with 23 votes, followed by FSU’s Winston with 16. Next was Miami running back Duke Johnson, who was named on seven ballots, while FSU wide receiver Rashad Greene was on four. Rounding out the votes was Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas with three, and North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams with two.

With their win over the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday, the Panthers (6-6, 4-4 ACC) are bowl eligible for the seventh straight year. Pitt will discover its bowl destination on Sunday, Dec. 7.