"Honestly, I felt like I got drafted," Conner told reporters on Tuesday. "I was with Tyler on draft night and seeing him wait for the call. I felt the same. I was waiting for a phone call. But this is better. ... This is my life."
Conner revealed he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in December. He returned to work out with his teammates by February and completed chemotherapy treatments two weeks ago.
"That's the plan, but like (the) doctor said, nothing is guaranteed in this," Conner said. "I'm happy. I'm celebrating, but we still have to stay on top of it and still be smart because I have to get my body back."
Conner has not played in a game since last year's season opener, when he suffered a season-ending right knee injury. He rose to the ranks of college football's elite in 2014, when he was selected ACC Player of the Year after rushing for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Conner, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, said he didn't lose any weight while he was undergoing treatment and is actually a few pounds heavier than he was at the outset.
Pitt opens the season on Sept. 3 at home against Villanova.