Washington State Football: Top 5 Impact Players in 2014

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Dec 21, 2013; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback

Connor Halliday

(12) drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Colorado State Rams during the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1: Connor Halliday

Mike Leach has recently put Connor Halliday’s potential impact into a few most-telling words, calling him the “furthest along of any quarterback (he’s ever had).” Think about that statement for a moment, the quarterbacks that Leach has coached throughout his career, some NCAA record holders.

C.H. really is one of those quarterbacks that when you look back on Cougar greats throughout the years, has everything they’ve had. Big kid, strong arm, quick release (maybe the quickest I have ever seen from a WSU QB), incredible touch and just enough mobility to keep a few plays alive during the course of a football game.

He sometimes looks like a slimmer version of Drew Bledsoe when he’s able to set his feet and stand behind his throws. Where he struggles is those dang turnovers when he gets in a rush, but one has to think if the O-line can be protective this season that he will cut those down tremendously. A veteran receiving core will help as well, the trust factor and timing are at an all-time high.

At any rate after setting some Pac-12 and even more school passing records last season, Halliday must be the No. 1 impact player for the Cougs if they want to take that next step. Honestly (and this is perhaps being a bit brash), regardless of the young secondary on the other side for WSU, this kid could take the Cougs as far as they want to go, but he really needs to take care of the football for that to happen. I’m looking forward to a huge season, can he do it?