Steelers backup rookie RB James Conner has the NFL's top-selling jersey

What happens when you combine an incredible story of a hometown kid who played for the local college and ends up on the local NFL team? You get the NFL's best-selling jersey, that's what. James Conner is setting the merchandise tills (or whatever they're called on the Internet) on fire with sales of his No. 30 jersey in Pittsburgh.

Conner isn't your usual best-seller, though. He isn't some rookie setting the league on fire (a la Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott last year when they soared to the top of the charts). He isn't some established Greatest Of All Time quarterback (Tom Brady is routinely near the high mark of these lists, even in states with multiple NFL teams not named the Patriots). 

Instead he is a backup to Le'Veon Bell and a third-round pick for the Steelers. But he is not an ordinary backup. 

Conner is a fantastic story, a guy who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma during his time playing for the Pittsburgh Panthers in college, only to beat cancer and return to the football field, where he continued to put up impressive numbers. The Erie native is Pittsburgh through and through. And he was drafted by the Steelers. Born and raised in the state of Pennsylvania, just two hours north of Pittsburgh, he attended the local college and now he's playing for the Steelers.

This is the definition of a blue-collar success story that the fans of the Steelers absolutely love. Plus, with Bell on a one-year deal and having battled suspensions and injuries previously, there is a decent chance that Conner becomes a guy who ends up carrying the ball a substantial amount of time at some point in the near future.

No wonder he's so popular. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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