The Pittsburgh Panthers are looking to make a big statement in the 2016 season as they get running back James Conner back from a MCL injury and cancer treatments. However, if he isn’t ready to go, they have another player that should be able to step up for them.
Qadree Ollison had a tough job to do when Conner went down with a torn MCL, but he came in and did pretty well for the Panthers. He was their top rusher with over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns and also won ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year.
However, one ACC coach doesn’t see Ollison as the same athlete as Conner is. He remained anonymous when speaking to Athlon Sports and saying that Ollison isn’t on the same level as the senior running back.
“The one running back, Qadree Ollison, was the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year, but to be honest you watch his film and he’s nowhere near the player that James Conner is,” the coach said. “Obviously Conner is dealing with something a lot bigger than a football injury but hopefully he can come back and that will bring another element to the offense.”
Before Conner went down with his injury, he was considered one of the best running backs in the ACC and could have competed for the Heisman Trophy. He was ACC Offensive Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year in 2014 after rushing for over 1,700 yards and 26 touchdowns.
I think having both Conner and Ollison on the field this year will give the Panthers a nearly unstoppable one-two punch that will help them contend for an ACC championship.