"I know he's getting up there, but ..." Conner says.
Of course, 25-year-old James definitely has the story worthy of a starring role from The Rock ... he famously kicked cancer's ass to become one the best running backs in the NFL.
For now, though, Conner's life is set for book form only ... the NFL star released his "Fear Is A Choice" memoir this week, and he says he hopes it'll help others overcome adversity.
"You have to kinda appreciate the dark days in order to move forward and have joy in the future," Conner says ... "I just want people to believe in themselves and realize how mentally strong that they are."
Sounds like something Dwayne Johnson himself would say, huh?!