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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ex-Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist still weighing options

Kansas football recruit Dayne Crist watches from the stands during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas football recruit Dayne Crist watches from the stands during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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It’s been 11 days since Dayne Crist sat with members of the Kansas University football team in Allen Fieldhouse and watched the Jayhawks’ basketball team upend No. 2 Ohio State.

During that time, Crist probably has picked up a couple thousand KU fans as Twitter followers. That’s because the enthusiasm and interest of an entire fan base has transitioned from closely following a super secret coaching search to watching every move that Crist has made.

For those who don’t know, Crist is KU’s latest quarterback target and a recent graduate of Notre Dame who played three seasons and made 10 starts for the Fighting Irish from 2008-11. Because he graduated from Notre Dame this month, and because he has one year of eligibility remaining, he’s free to transfer to another school and play immediately.

New KU coach Charlie Weis was the man who recruited Crist to Notre Dame, and, with fans at Kansas and Wisconsin watching his every move, Crist Watch has become every bit as important as Christmas, as the 6-foot-4, 235-pound pro-style quarterback continues to keep football fans at KU and Wisconsin on pins and needles.

Monday, WNDU TV in South Bend, Ind., caught up with Crist and asked him about his decision.

“I honestly do not know at this point,” Crist told WNDU’s Angelo Di Carlo. “I visited Wisconsin this weekend. It was a really good visit, but at this point, I have to weigh the pros and cons and go from there.”

Many reports during the past week have indicated that Crist’s decision could come any day. But, as he explained to Di Carlo, choosing a place to play the final season of your career is very different than picking a school as a senior in high school.

“I have to look at it very different,” he said. “I have one year. I can’t afford to be wrong with the decision. There are some things that are less important in a one-year decision versus four-year decision.”

As a high school senior in Canoga Park, Calif., Crist earned a five-star rating from Rivals.com and was ranked as the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the nation. His career at Notre Dame did not bring similar success. Two knee injuries cost him the better part of two seasons, and, after being named the starter for 2011, he was benched during the opening game of the season and appeared in just three games the rest of the way. Now, Crist, who has the look and feel of an NFL quarterback, is determined to prove he still can play. Whichever school he feels gives him the best shot of realizing his pro football dream may have an advantage. Of course, other factors also are in play.

The incredible success of Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson (who made a similar move after playing four seasons at North Carolina State) has some thinking Crist will head to Madison, Wis. The quarterback’s relationship with Weis has others thinking KU will be his pick.

“He’s been supportive of me the last four years, whether he was here or not,” said Crist of Weis. “Always staying involved in my life. Always helped me along and gave me advice, even before he was at Kansas. I have a high comfort level with the offense he runs — know it very well. It would be a pretty good advantage walking in the door.”

Crist told Di Carlo that he could make a decision this week and that he likely would not push it past the first week of January.

Signing day for the Class of 2012 is set for Feb. 1. Junior college transfers, of which KU figures to have a few, are eligible to sign any time between today and Jan. 15.

Weis’ road to recovery

KU officials confirmed that Weis had successful left hip replacement surgery on Monday morning in Florida and was recovering nicely.

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger, who filled in for men’s basketball coach Bill Self on “Hawk Talk” on Tuesday night, said Weis came out of the surgery ready to work.

“He’s been on the phone with coaches; he’s directing traffic, and that’s one of the reasons I hired him,” Zenger said.

“I don’t know many people who would go get a hip replaced and be going at it today. That reinforces the kind of person that I thought I knew him to be.”

Weis, who already has been up and walking, plans to return to Lawrence next week.

Comments

packywacky88 2 years, 3 months ago

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!!!!

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Ethan Berger 2 years, 3 months ago

Dayne Crist tweets - After a long & difficult decision making process, I'm incredibly excited to join the Kansas football team. Rock Chalk Jayhawk! 22 minutes ago

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gardenjay 2 years, 3 months ago

W - O - W

Merry Cristmas Everyone, MERRY CRISTMAS!!!!

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Jason Keller 2 years, 3 months ago

Welcome Dayne Crist!!! Merry F-ing Cristmas everybody!!! No pun intended. When he officially committs, recruiting will blow up. Thank you baby jesus!!!

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Getting the feeling Grunhard and Weis will be behind the scenes gunning for Boehm out of Lee's Summit and linebacker Dreiling from Pitt State. Boehm, a four star lineman whose verbally committed to Missouri, recently travelled around to different campuses because he wasn't sure about Missouri. Could Grundhard and a four time super bowl champ sway him away from the Tigers now that Crist appears to be onboard with Weis?

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Cmon Heaps!

Cmon Dieter!

Cmon Butler!

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Time to bring in a five star line, Grunhard!

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BigJayhawkPhan 2 years, 3 months ago

Pitt to hire Paul Chryst as coach.

Crist to Kansas!!! Welcome!!

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Jason Keller 2 years, 3 months ago

Dayne is hurting his own future offense by dragging this thing out. The dead period will be over soon so he needs to committ somewhere so that the coaches have a solid pitch to his future receivers and O-lineman. Whoever he choses, he needs to choose soon. Your a big boy now, pull the trigger.

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gardenjay 2 years, 3 months ago

Hey, check out this USA Today link of a few hours ago. Correct me if I'm seeing things, but it seemed to be written with a definite Kansas lean:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2011/12/notre-dame-dayne-crist-transfer-wisconsin-kansas/1

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JJHawq 2 years, 3 months ago

Crist Watch isn't bigger than Christmas. Hanukkah maybe, but not Christmas...

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 3 months ago

I was just looking at the picture of Crist above. Not that it has nothing to do with the price of beans in Mexico, but the four faces that are in focus that surround Crist are pretty famous now---lol. Could one of them be jaybate? No way!!!!!!!

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JacquesMerde 2 years, 3 months ago

This demonstrates how desperate football is at KU. Crist isn't the type QB who will save anything. I hope he comes so you can all see how right I am.

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GabrielMichael 2 years, 3 months ago

Dayne, perhaps you should speak with Todd Reesing about his experience playing QB at Kansas...

Either way, good luck! We'd sure enjoy cheering for you though...

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

It might be mentioned the size of KU's 2011 redshirted line next fall will be large to say the least and some of them highly ranked to go with the experience of the existing line. Should be a good group to choose from. Grunhart coaching them. Grunhart, who is extremely solid on technique and a ND guy. Lots of ND guys around our program now. Crist says he'll always have a lot of ND in him. Two excellent receivers are talking to Weis, one a four star from USC. Weis already thanks to Gill has quite an array of running backs to keep the Defensive backfield guessing, giving Crist more space on his throws.

And a four time super bowl winner Weis as his OC, a coach he's worked with for two years already, a coach he seems to greatly respect.

RCJ Zenger!

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rob4lb 2 years, 3 months ago

Man- there is a lot of spin doctoring going on here. Looking objectively, there only benefit KU has over Wisconsin is the long standing relationship between Crist and Weis. On all other measures, Wisconsin is a better situation. I think if KU had a better quarterback last year, they would have won a couple of more games. I'm guessing the over/under for wins for KU football next year is 4.5. We should have a chance to win all non-conference games and we should get 1-2 conference wins with a good quarterback which means we are game away from bowl eligibility.

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JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 3 months ago

Interesting unrelated story:

http://espn.go.com/colleges/georgia/football/story/_/id/7372776/georgia-bulldogs-mark-richt-paid-staff-own-pocket-report-says

Classiest violation by a coach in as far as I can remember. Wouldn't you love to work for Mark Richt? and more importantly, if Georgia offers you a job with the football program, would you take it?

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hawk316 2 years, 3 months ago

“He’s been supportive of me the last four years, whether he was here or not,” said Crist of Weis. “Always staying involved in my life. Always helped me along and gave me advice, even before he was at Kansas."

This speaks highly of the kind of person Weis is.

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dannyxo 2 years, 3 months ago

One of the main things KU has going for them is how bad they were defensively last year. If I were a QB who were looking for a place to showcase my talents for one year, KU would be almost ideal.

  1. There is a better chance for 65-50 type scores with lots of possessions and chances to pad his stats needing to throw 40+ times a game coming from behind.

  2. There are going to be more "shootout" type games in the Big XII (10) than the B1G (12).

  3. KU's offense has some weapons and a pretty good stable of backs to keep opposing defenses honest.

  4. Charlie Weis

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okiedave 2 years, 3 months ago

. Actually Gill recruited a pretty good crop of freshmen and with our returning line, Crist should be able to do some magic on the field.

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Mangino_Maniac 2 years, 3 months ago

Have any of the current players 'officially' announced they are leaving the program and/or transferring? Just curious.

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hawkfan20 2 years, 3 months ago

Man, we really need this kid. It would be great to have him commit and then help recruit a couple other transfers like the USC WR. Weis can turn this thing in a hurry if we get Crist.

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ozzzy 2 years, 3 months ago

I think some underestimate how good KU's offense can be with an above average QB. We are litterally one player away from being legit on offense...it just so happens that one position is the most important one, QB. Crist, Crist, Crist !!!!

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TexasHawk44 2 years, 3 months ago

"The Crist Watch has become every bit as important as Christmas"? Wow! Really? I love KU and hardly a religious fanatic but it is pretty shameful for this to written in the LJW site. The Simmons family should be horrified that this ludicrous comparison was made. I guess Christmas as the LJW has no meaning at all other than Black Friday and opening gifts from Granny. Really, really poor taste.

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iamakufan 2 years, 3 months ago

I feel in my bones that the University of Kansas football program is on the verge of something great. And Crist, for next year, and Heaps, for the following two years, would be key to that coming success.

In any case, media attention will be on this program this coming season just because of Charlie Weis. Should Crist join him, they'll be watching that much more closely.

Whether Dayne Crist chooses Kansas or Wisconsin, I wish the young man the best of luck and a great future.

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Jeffery Barrett 2 years, 3 months ago

Dayne Crist will be the starter for KU on Sept. 1st vs SDSU. Write it down.

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Mark Lindrud 2 years, 3 months ago

Getting Christ would be huge for us because he would be a great upgrade at the QB position while we let Cummings, Berglund and Russell develop for a year. It is safe to say Webb is done as the starter here. I also hope we can get Deiter at the WR position. The next few weeks could be very huge for us.

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deathtomizzou 2 years, 3 months ago

Crist has a tough decision to make. Go play for a team that is playing in the rose bowl that wins year in and year out or come to KU and play for a team that absolutely nothing to offer him for his one year he has left to make an impression. With all due respect to Charlie Weis he hasn't accomplished anything at the college level. Mr Crist if you have any desire to make it to the pros you'd stay as far away from the sorry excuse of a program and head north. Gill has set this program back a decade!

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Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 3 months ago

well, i hope he becomes a Jayhawk.....i mean, i'm selfish and all, but as always, the kid has to make the choice that benefits him the most...and answers the most basic question:

what do i want my legacy to be? another possible Rose Bowl trip? or a great rags to riches story....2-10 to possible bowl game? and set the standard for a football program establishment.

i don't think he can lose with either choice...but i can't believe, he wouldn't love playing for Charlie Weis one more time.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 3 months ago

As others have said, Wisconsin would seem to be the obvious choice. But I think part of what is making this a difficult decision for Crist is his admiration for, and loyalty to Charlie Weis. That says allot about both Weis and Crist I think. By every indication Crist is a first-class young man. I'm hopeful he will choose KU, but will totally get it if he doesn't. Either way, I hope he gets his shot at the NFL.

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Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 3 months ago

When your all choices are good situations, you really can't make a mistake.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 3 months ago

And the song from Tom Petty comes to mind, "The Waiting is the Hardest Part!"

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Jim Jackson 2 years, 3 months ago

It's definitely a tough decision and I was thinking that too, that he was wating to see if Wisco O Coorindator, Paul Chryst got the job at PItt. Hopefully he did and Dayne comes here.Kid knows Weis' offense and we will have a real solid Oline next year to go along with some nasty RB's. Everyone will get bigger, faster and stronger in the off season , I expect us to go bowling next year and Dayne to be leading the way.

Go Jayhawkers

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 3 months ago

It's obvious the right choice is Wisconsin and he is leaning that way. Better o line, better defense, just better. However I think their OC just became the head coach of Pitt last night by way of FIU losing it's bowl game and their HC could be a name that pops up in some NFL jobs. Which will obviously send Dayne our way.

Also, what in the world is Wisconsin thinking? They will never be able to recruit another high school qb. Ever! Now that they have shown that they will bring in transfers to take their spot, twice!

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Crist is an NFL caliber talent. That does not mean he will be an NFL quarterback, it just means the potential is there. Because of that, my guess is that his decision will be partially based off of what program has the best chance to get him to the NFL.

Why KU wouldn't be a bad decision for his situation. 1. A lot of returning offenive linemen 2. Some decent receivers. Not great, but decent. 3. A running game to take pressure off. 4. No legitimate threats to his playing time. (I believe there are some other quarterbacks that could threaten his chances at Wisconsin)

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Billy Derringer 2 years, 3 months ago

tough spot to be in for this guy, one place he will likely make a bowl game an thus get more exsposure, but on the other hand weis's offense is pro style which would also give him some looks, an if by some way he could guide kansas to a bowl (six wins isnt all that out of the question) then that might turn even more heads. id but ku at landing this guy at 60-40 not bad odds...time will tell....

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gardenjay 2 years, 3 months ago

These decisions do take time. I recall a KU professor remarking that when facing a fork in the road like this, sometimes there really is no answer.

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