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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Connor Halliday past misery, doubt; looks to future


PULLMAN – All Connor Halliday needed to break out of the melancholy that set in after his football season ended prematurely was the suggestion that perhaps he shouldn’t bother trying to come back.

After checking out of Pullman Regional Hospital, Halliday returned to his parents’ home in Spokane, rehabbing the bones in his upper ankle that broke early in Washington State’s game against USC.

Still bound by crutches and unable to do much except the preliminary actions in what is sure to be a long and painful rehabilitation process, his father, Duane Halliday, gave him an out.

“You know you don’t have to do this,” his dad told him. “You don’t have to rehab and get yourself healthy and do this. It’s your decision.”

“I think that was kind of a backhanded way of being a (jerk) to me,” the younger Halliday said. “But I took it and ran with it and got ready to go.”

Now Halliday is back in Pullman and finishing up classes at WSU and will be honored with the rest of the seniors on the field before the Apple Cup. He continues to rehab daily. While he’s still on crutches, doctors tell him he should be running again in three months and able to play football again in five.

He expects to be ready to participate in WSU’s Pro Day showcase for NFL scouts this spring and will sign with an agent in the coming weeks. Doctors have told him that because he broke a bone rather than injuring a tendon or joint, he should be able to make a full recovery and still pursue a career as a professional football player.

But the injury will make it harder. That’s what makes the timing so tragic for a quarterback that thought he was past the injury issues that plagued him early in his career.

“I think the hardest thing was just how close I was to being healthy throughout the year, going to the combine, getting to do all that stuff,” Halliday said. “That’s what I’ve been dreaming about since I’ve been able to dream so that was the frustrating thing. I was just three games away from that.”

An outpouring of support helped Halliday cope with his initial misery after the injury. Teammates and coaches visited him constantly in the hospital and he’s received letters from fans and phone calls from former WSU athletic director Sam Jankovich and former WSU head coach and current Utah running backs coach Dennis Erickson.

“It means the world that people take the time out of their day to say a couple words to me, or write a letter, or whatever it may be,” Halliday said.

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