Cougar QB Connor Halliday needs a nickname

THE WHAMMER FROM LILLEHAMMER. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it. And Connor Halliday is of Norwegian and Irish heritage, he isn’t actually from Norway. The timing isn’t great either, bestowing a nickname on a QB seven games into his senior season. But one has to try. He's gunning for the most single-season passing yards in the history of college football for cryin' out loud.

Connor Halliday’s father, Duane, says Connor didn’t have a nickname growing up. But he knew he had a future blue-chipper on his hands early on.

“In little guys’ football -- and he’s my son of course, but I’ve always tried to look at him as objectively as possible -- I knew he was special back then,” says the elder Halliday.

Halliday, who even now in his fifth season checks in at 201-pounds spread over his 6-4 frame, has gotten banged up at times over his college career. But he's kept on playing. It’s something Duane knows something about, having played quarterback at Boise State.

“I knew when he was young he was going to be a heckuva lot better than me, but that’s not saying a lot,” Duane quipped. “He’s a pretty tough kid, and he wears his heart on his sleeve.”

Coming out of Ferris High in Spokane, Halliday was ranked the No. 25 quarterback prospect nationally by Scout.com and three-stars. But he didn’t garner the kinds of offers one might have expected for a QB doing what he’s doing this season. Scout’s database lists only offers from WSU, Hawaii and Idaho.

That might be simply because schools get their QBs early, following their junior seasons or even before. And once schools get their guy, they shut QB recruiting down and almost always just take one. Still …

“I was a little surprised, because he threw for a lot of yards his senior year and he also had a good junior year,” said Duane.

Halliday was 170-of-286 for 2,404 yards with 21 touchdowns as a junior. As a senior, he passed for a whopping 4,177 yards and 43 TDs vs. 13 INTs.

But back to the matter at hand. For a guy on pace to throw for 5,732.4 yards in a 12-game season, (B.J. Symonds holds the record: in 13 games in 2003 he passed for 5,833 hashes), there’s got to be an appropriate nickname. Maybe we should just forget about heritage.

The Rifleman.

Sounds about right.

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