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.


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 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.


gardenjay 6 years 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.

JJHAWK 6 years ago

My two cents:

DAYNE CRIST - come on down! You get KU to a bowl game, everyone will know your name.

baldwinjhawk 6 years ago

I know this is off subject... But can we go get Pitt State's stud Linebacker Nate Dreiling PLEASE! 6'4 230 and a monster. His Dad is the coach at Hutch and he has super high footbal IQ

Billy Derringer 6 years 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....

Bangkok_Jayhawk 6 years 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)

jhox 6 years ago

I suspect it really all boils down to number 4 on your list. Our offensive line did pretty well until Webb quit finding receivers. Once that happened, it was game over for our offense as teams knew they only had to stop our running game. We had a pretty solid offense until Webb quit connecting on his passes and Chuck Long got stubborn and decided we had to run on first and second down every time.. Offensively I don't believe we're that far off from being a quality D1 unit. We're maybe just a QB and one or two receivers away.

TKHAWK 6 years ago

Don't forget #5, weaker defenses in the Big XII, very offense friendly. If you get him and Weis can pull a deep threat receiver out of his hat, Crist could put up Weeden like numbers on the Big 12.

DocBean 6 years ago

I agree with TKHawk, The big XII defenses will allow big numbers to any quality QB, and RG3 proved you can win a Heisman playing in this league.

treed14ku 6 years ago

DocBean, RG3 proved he was the best player in the country. Not sure Big 12 had a single thing to do w/ him winning the Heisman.

Steve Gantz 6 years ago

Bangkok, I like your list. Let me answer that as a KU grad who moved to Wisconsin in '92 and became a Badger fan. UW produces the best offensive linemen year in and year out. UW has had some decent receivers, particularly at the tight end position. Running game? UW has become what Nebraska used to be. If Montee Ball goes pro, a likelihood, James White will pick up the slack. And UW hasn't done a great job lately of bringing in QB's which is why Russell Wilson and now crist is so attractive. I'll be happy whichever gets him. KU probably needs him more as a way of jumpstarting the program.

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years 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!

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

According to this story, Wisconsin will not be nearly as good next year:

Crist might actually have better opportunities in the offense-happy, defense-starved Big 12 On the second point you are spot on. Every other coach recruiting HS QBs will use it against Wisconsin, as you mentioned. A lot different if KU pick Crist and Heaps, as KU -unlike Wisconsin- is in a true rebuilding stage and needing immediate help.

Steve Gantz 6 years ago

Wisconsin is nearly at that reloading instead of rebuilding stage. They've got offensive linemen, some great talent at defense coming back, a dynamite running back coming back, a developing big play receiver, etc. I follow this team nearly as devotedly as I do the Jayhawks.

Jim Jackson 6 years 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

kellerman411 6 years ago


Your name alone makes anything you say worth reading. Haha, you stay classy San Diego.

Mike Kendall 6 years ago

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

Dan Pawlowski 6 years ago

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

Dyrk Dugan 6 years 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.

deathtomizzou 6 years 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!

Bville Hawk 6 years ago

I disagree with your analysis.

Crist can go to KU where he is assured of playing in a system that will best showcase his pro-style talents and play for a coach who is going to understand his strengths and weaknesses and help him grow as a pro-style quarterback.

Or he can go to Wisconsin where the OC is more than likely going to be different than the current person. He may end up with an OC who runs the quarterback on every other play (ala Bill Snyder at KSU). There is way too much uncertainty at Wisconsin. As Crist said, when you're making a decision for just 1 year your criteria changes. Bottom line: he knows what he's getting into at KU, he doesn't at Wisconsin.

Steve Gantz 6 years ago

"Way too much uncertainty at Wisconsin"??? For the better part of two decades now they play in bowls every year. They win 9-12 games every year, play in front of 85,000 in Camp Randall. I do understand partially why you said that with cryst leaving for pitt, but it's not a huge amount of uncertainty, not even close.

Sam Constance 6 years ago

"With all due respect to Charlie Weis he hasn't accomplished anything at the college level."

With all due respect to you, this is simply not a factual statement.

jhox 6 years ago

Gill most definitely didn't set this program back a decade. He inherited a no talent program (for whatever reason, Mangino quit recruiting after the 2007 season, maybe thinking he'd get a bigger job.) Gill did a very good job of recruiting for one and a half years. Last year's class is probably going to be one of the best in school history before all is said and done. There is no question he upgraded the talent. He and his staff just did a poor job of coaching it.

We were a team that had Division 2 speed when he arrived, and now we have the speed to compete on this level with the right coaching.

Gill set the table for Weis to come in and look pretty good. I'm not expecting 8 wins next year, but 6 or maybe even 7 may be in reasonable reach with the right QB.

Mark Lindrud 6 years 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.

Jeffery Barrett 6 years ago

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

Mangino_Maniac 6 years ago

Probably on the bus and on his way to class on his last day of high school before the holiday break.

Steve Reigle 6 years 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.

TexasHawk44 6 years 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.

Kevin Kunde 6 years ago

hilarious because I actually rolled my eyes and then saw the second comment lol

Mangino_Maniac 6 years ago

For me, I think the use of the word 'ludicrous' started the eyes rolling... ;-)

bad_dog 6 years ago

The next thing you know, someone will say the Beatles were more popular than Jesus...

sm5561 6 years ago

I agree with you TexasHawk44. Thanks for posting. Last year my family spent Christmas at Children's Mercy Hospital. My daughter was there from 12/13 until 12/31. Being able to spend Christmas at home with my daughter healthy is FAR more important than what school some guy I've never met chooses to go to.

Jason Renfrow 6 years ago

Seriously...we all have families and we all love them....BUT this is a thread for KU sports fans. We are here to discuss and debate our team and the players on the team. We will use metaphors and adjectives that apparently you are uncomfortable get off your high-horse and go hug your kids!!

sm5561 6 years ago

So sorry to have offended you. Since only sports related comments are allowed here (I was not aware of that), please let me rephrase my argument.

I don't think Crist is going to single handedly resurrect KU Football in one year. He may make our offense instantly better, but our defense was atrocious this year. You say landing Crist is as important as Christmas? I say landing Crist is far less important than landing the right Defensive Coordinator. And anything sports related is far less important than Christmas and family (which are interchangeable in my mind).

ozzzy 6 years 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 just so happens that one position is the most important one, QB. Crist, Crist, Crist !!!!

GridironHawk 6 years ago

Well we were actually two positions away from a damn good offense... QB and OC (one is already filled. Let's hope the other isn't far behind).

I still think Long was more of the issue then even Webb. Long never gave Webb a chance in all the 3rd and long situations that he put him in. Tough for a young QB to succeed in those situations no matter how talented you are.

Ryan Gerstner 6 years 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.

Mangino_Maniac 6 years ago

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

Marcia Parsons 6 years ago

They were talking about that on one of the recent pod casts, but I don't remember if they dropped any names. They were talking about "several" which I always interpret as three.

okiedave 6 years 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.

Todd Mobray 6 years 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

GridironHawk 6 years ago

I like the analysis but I think the order is wrong... Charlie Weis should be at the top. Without him we aren't even debating where Crist will go because he wouldn't even give KU the time of day. This is the one aspect of the Charlie Weis hire that is indisputable. He gives KU isn't name recognition for recruits and transfers.

GridironHawk 6 years ago

Yes "instant"... Trying to work and post at the same time and I am not doing either very well...

Bville Hawk 6 years ago

Yeah, this 'Crist Watch' is almost as stressful as the 'Zenger Coach Hire Watch' as the 'Conference Realigment Watch.'

Productivity has gone to hell...

Todd Mobray 6 years ago

I agree, should have been more dramatic and numbered them 4, 3, 2, 1 like a countdown.

eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 6 years ago

I hope you are not serious? I'm hoping Crist goes to KU as well, but a bad defense is NOT a selling point for a QB. A bad defense means fewer offensive opportunities b/c the other team can control the time of possession. You want a ball hawking defense that can make the other team go 3 and out or steal extra possessions through turnovers. A bad defense also gives KU terrible field position to work with.

Also, If Crist wants to be on a high scoring team, he doesn't need shootouts to do it. Wisco averaged over 40 points a game with only a couple of shootouts all year - just by having a dominant offense and a decent defense.

KU might have some good offensive weapons, but they sure did a good job of hiding their talent last year. The running backs had flashes of competence, while the receivers were largely invisible. You honestly think he likes KU's offensive weapons vs. Wisconsin's, which is returning James White, Pedersen, and Abbrederis, and maybe Montee Ball as well?

Charlie Weis? Yes, that is a great selling point for KU. Loyalty and comfort may win out, and he is a proven OC, but his collegiate offenses really don't compare favorably to what Paul Chryst did at Wisco while also running a pro-style offense. The QB competition at Wisco next year is Crist for the taking too as both legit threats have been too injured to compete for the last 2 years running, leaving only an incoming freshman and an incompetent back-up to beat in camp.

Wisco also has the advantage of better TV exposure and a cleared path to the Big 10 championship game due to the problems at Ohio State and Penn State next year (both are in Wisco's division).

KU fans better be pulling for loyalty to Weis and comfort with the system, because otherwise the pros/cons balance favors Wisconsin hugely.

Todd Mobray 6 years ago

First of all, love your name.

I think our defense did not stop people enough for them to control time of possession. It probably will in the future, but my comments were a little tongue-in-cheek.

A true list would probably be 1. Weis 2. No competition for the starting job.

Todd Mobray 6 years ago

First of all, love your name.

I think our defense did not stop people enough for them to control time of possession. It probably will in the future, but my comments were a little tongue-in-cheek.

A true list would probably be 1. Weis 2. No competition for the starting job.

texashawk10 6 years ago

If this is the way to the NFL, why aren't Texas Tech QB's littering the NFL landscape?

Todd Mobray 6 years ago

That can be answered in three simple words - Pro Style Offense.

hawk316 6 years 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.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

Interesting unrelated story:

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?

rob4lb 6 years 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.

JayHok 6 years 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!

GabrielMichael 6 years 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...

JacquesMerde 6 years 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.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years ago

"I hope he comes so you can all see how right I am."

That's why I'm hoping he comes. Seriously.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years ago

"I hope he comes so you can all see how right I am."

That's why I'm hoping he comes. Seriously.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

And your name spells out exactly how much you know. It translates (from French) to jack_s-h-i-t.

JakeBarnes 6 years ago

Wow! You're bilingual. This guy Jack S*** is always negative. His name is probably Casper Powderpuff.

JacquesMerde 6 years ago

Your mother's boyfriend? Your daddy?

Dan Pawlowski 6 years ago

Just as I thought, A high school punk posting from the schools computer.

Mike Kendall 6 years 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!!!!!!!

kellerman411 6 years ago

Haha! I know the girl in the photo. She left her underwear at my apartment. Just kidding! Don't file suit!

Mike Kendall 6 years ago

Oh, my! I tried not to laugh too hard.

JJHawq 6 years ago

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

gardenjay 6 years 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:

Aligned 6 years ago

Those are the exact same quotes as above; Matt attributed them to Angelo Di Carlo during a WNDU TV interview.

kellerman411 6 years 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.

Dan Pawlowski 6 years ago

Well then, I guess he should listen to you.

BigJayhawkPhan 6 years ago

Pitt to hire Paul Chryst as coach.

Crist to Kansas!!! Welcome!!

JayHok 6 years ago

Time to bring in a five star line, Grunhard!

JayHok 6 years ago

Cmon Heaps!

Cmon Dieter!

Cmon Butler!

JayHok 6 years 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?

kellerman411 6 years ago

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

gardenjay 6 years ago

W - O - W

Merry Cristmas Everyone, MERRY CRISTMAS!!!!

Ethan Berger 6 years 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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