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Running Back Draft Prospect Calls Eric Berry His Inspiration

Posted Mar 2, 2017

Pittsburgh’s James Conner met Berry after he was also diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Chiefs safety Eric Berry and James Conner, a running back and draft hopeful out of the University of Pittsburgh, share a special bond.

Both at one point in their lives were diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and both managed to beat the disease only to return to the field.

Last year in April, Berry surprised Conner on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Conner, who was announced as cancer-free last May, declared to enter the NFL Draft in December and was later invited to take part in this year’s Scouting Combine, which is taking place this week in Indianapolis.

When asked who his inspiration was at the Combine’s media availability Thursday, the answer for Conner was easy.

“Eric Berry,” he said. “The same exact cancer, [and he] returned to the field just like I did. Yeah, him. Same exact thing. One of my biggest inspirations is Eric."

Conner added that he was happy to see the recent news of Berry’s contract extension.

"It just shows a great organization like the Chiefs believed in him for them to do that,” he said. “It just shows that you can come back after going through something like we went through and still be successful, so it gives hope really."

Conner, who holds the ACC career record for touchdowns rushing with 52, will be a player to keep an eye on as this year’s 2017 NFL Draft approaches in late April.

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