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Connor Halliday signs UDFA contract with Washington

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The record-setting WSU quarterback went unselected in the NFL Draft, but he'll still get a chance to prove himself with the NFL team in the nation's capitol.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Halliday will join Vince Mayle and Xavier Cooper as WSU Cougars hoping to make an NFL roster in 2015, as one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the school has signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL team in Washington, D.C. Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson was the first to report.

For Halliday, the contract is the culmination of months of hard work and rehab following a gruesome leg injury sustained in late a late October game against USC. Halliday was sacked by Leonard Williams, who rolled over his leg, breaking it. Going into the game, the WSU senior quarterback was on pace to break records and lead the country in various categories, including passing yards, total offense, points and attempts.

The injury forced Halliday to end his season. He missed the final 3 and a half games and still managed to finish 3rd in FBS in total passing completions (354), 8th in touchdown passes (32), and 9th in total passing yards (3,873).

Since the injury, Halliday has been training and rehabbing to make his comeback and get to the NFL. He was invited to the NFL combine in February where he spoke to various teams, but couldn’t yet participate in any of the on-field events. Two months later, he was a full participant at WSU pro-day.

One of the big benefits Halliday has is his arm strength and accuracy. We’ve seen him make numerous deep throws that look impossible, only have the ball land right on the money. He’s also surprisingly elusive for his 6-foot-3 frame. One thing WSU has given him is plenty of experience scrambling out of a quickly collapsing pocket.

The biggest complaint many have about Halliday is the belief that he is only a Mike Leach "Air Raid" system quarterback. Many believe that he may have trouble adjusting to an NFL-style system and showing the same kind of production. While Halliday acknowledges he’s "a little behind the 8 ball," he believes this might give him a leg up on other quarterbacks:

"A negative would be [Leach] doesn't talk much about fronts and linebacker movements and things like that but a positive would be that I've called my own plays at the line of scrimmage, I can check plays at the line of scrimmage," he said. "I can get us into check-with-me runs and stuff like that, so it's a little give and take."

The day after his injury, Halliday tweeted this heart breaking sentiment:

Today, the dream comes true. Now the hard work of proving he belongs and that the injury is a thing of the past begins for Halliday.