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Friday, December 23, 2011

Pair of coveted quarterbacks commit to KU

In this Sept. 3, 2011, file photo, Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist throws against South Florida in South Bend, Ind.

In this Sept. 3, 2011, file photo, Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist throws against South Florida in South Bend, Ind.

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Just about everywhere he has coached, Charlie Weis has worked with great quarterbacks.

In New York with Neil O’Donnell and Vinny Testaverde, in New England with Tom Brady and at Notre Dame with Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen, Weis always seems to have had a big, strong, pro-style quarterback under center.

Thanks to a couple of huge commitments, it now appears Weis will have the chance to keep the tradition alive at Kansas University.

Thursday, within a few hours of each other, former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist and BYU transfer Jake Heaps orally committed to Kansas, giving KU two of its most high-profile quarterbacks in school history. Both commitments will become official on signing day in February, but it appears both former five-star prospects are happy with their decisions already.

“I’m 100 percent all in with my decision,” Crist told IrishIllustrated.com Thursday night, several hours after initially announcing his decision on Twitter. “I wanted to make sure I had full understanding of the players, the coaches, everything that goes into it. I just felt Kansas was the best fit and embodied the things I was looking for. I’m just thrilled to have this opportunity.”

Heaps, a sophomore who started 15 games during his two seasons at BYU, told Jon Kirby of JayhawkSlant.com that he had been in contact with Crist.

“I talked with Dayne, and we are excited to get to Kansas and get the program on track,” Heaps told Kirby.

Kirby, who has followed KU football recruiting for 13 years, said Thursday’s flurry of activity was by far the craziest he had seen during that time.

“I really believe there’s only one person that Kansas could’ve hired that could’ve pulled this off,” Kirby said. “And that person is Charlie Weis.”

Crist, the No. 2-ranked QB in the Class of 2008 who graduated from Notre Dame earlier this month, will arrive at Kansas with one year left to play and will be eligible immediately. Recruited to Notre Dame by Weis in 2008, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Crist played three seasons and made 10 starts for the Fighting Irish from 2008-11. During his time at Notre Dame, he completed a shade over 58 percent of his passes for 2,327 yards, with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while going 4-6 as a starter.

His best season, both statistically and in terms of impact, came during 2010, when he started nine games and threw for 2,033 yards and 15 TDs.

Heaps, the former No. 1-ranked QB in the Class of 2010 whom Weis also recruited while coaching at Notre Dame, started the final 10 games of his freshman season at BYU (2010) and the first five games in 2011 before being benched. He set freshman school records for yards passing (2,316), attempts (383), completions (219) and touchdown passes (15) during the 2010 season that ended with the 7-6 Cougars beating UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl.

In accordance with NCAA transfer rules, Heaps, 6-1, 200, will sit out the 2012 season and will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013. He will be allowed to practice throughout 2012. Both players are expected to be on campus for the spring semester and will be eligible to participate in spring practices.

“It’s like the perfect situation,” Kirby said. “It all came together at the right time. I think Dayne Crist had the relationship with Charlie Weis, and they know each other and understand each other, and that’s going to be great for Kansas football. And I think Jake Heaps is somebody that wants to be in the NFL, and he knows that he’s now playing for someone who can help him get there, and he’ll be playing in a pro-style offense.”

Thursday’s excitement surely was the kind of splash KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger envisioned when he hired Weis on Dec. 8. Despite the program coming off a 2-10 season, KU football was scrolling on ESPN’s “bottom line” throughout the day, and ESPN analyst Trevor Matich did an entire segment on Crist’s potential impact at KU on “College Football Live.”

“He brings understanding,” Matich said on the show. “He didn’t get to play much under Charlie Weis, but he was there, in the system. As a pure, drop-back passer, he’s the kind of guy that Weis knows how to coach.”

While KU’s quarterback haul became national news and was a hot topic on message boards everywhere, it also made quite an impression on a few high school seniors who already had committed to KU.

“It definitely gets me excited,” said three-star tight end Jordan Smith of Reicher High in Waco, Texas. “Having a great quarterback, that helps the team tremendously. And having quarterbacks that have already proven themselves in other programs, as not only leaders but also as athletes, is great. Picking up two of them in the same day, that’s crazy. But I think it’s gonna be great for the program.”

Williams taps Cyclones

Orlando offensive lineman Duaron Williams, who had listed KU as one of three finalists, orally committed to Iowa State on Thursday night.

Williams, 6-4, 298, projects as an offensive guard in college. He chose the Cyclones over Kansas and Central Florida.

Also Thursday, Largo, Fla., tight end Sean Culkin, who had been considering KU, orally committed to Missouri.

Comments

Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

KStutter. I respect Snyder's accomplishments, and he also seems to be a class individual. Wish I could say the same for alot of the purplepussy fans I meet.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Well the mystery of the Topeka Capital journal has been solved. They finally reported on it. What's interesting is the 45 comments under it. Instead of State fans saying wow or good luck, there's a bunch of posers saying Weis is defensive coach Crist is a 3 star, Heaps is 3 star, Grunhard plays charades, etc. The posers can't even say congratulations.

Admittedly getting ready for the Cotton Bowl the hype in Kansas is on Weis and Pitt State Gorillas. I'm sure that doesn't feel great that their season is being overlooked for a couple days by the media.

Personally I think Snyder is great and have a great deal of respect for what he does. I'm rooting for the Cats in the Cotton Bowl. Too bad a couple---or 40---- bad apples spoil the psychology of their 10-2 season by becoming obsessed with a team they've soundly beaten the last two seasons. Focus on Arkansas, KSU fans, not Weis!

RCJ Zenger!

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Steve Brown 2 years, 3 months ago

when I plant lettuce in my garden and it does not grow I don't blame the lettuce, rather the soil, light, water, weeding and care.

boys, gardeners, lettuce and coaches; it's going to be a bountiful harvest next fall.

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wildjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Missouri sure looked good last night against Illinois. Both teams looked as they both will be in the NCAA tournament and could do well.

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losthawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Looks like our football is on the up swing while the basketball is going in the down swing. It started last year on the down swing.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Read this on Kansascity.com link.

"It’s not every day that two former five-star quarterback prospects decide to attend KU — in fact, Kansas had never had a five-star recruit at any position until Thursday. But then again, this is not a normal situation."

Amazing what Weis pulled off yesterday.

RCJ Zenger!

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middleoftheroader 2 years, 3 months ago

Our decided schematic advantage just got tactically better.

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rawkhawk6 2 years, 3 months ago

I went to BYU....grew up a huge KS and ND fan. So I watch all three of them every week. There are alot of doubters for some reason. These are 2 very good QB's. Dane didn't play at ND this year because Kelly made it very clear he wanted his own players. He didn't wan't to play Charlies recruits. If you watched ND football then you know Dane was the best QB on the team. If you watch BYU football then you know Heaps was the best QB on that team. He was benched because they went to a run oriented offense and a run minded QB in Nelson. BYU has a history of very good QB's. If you throw an interception there everyone wants you on the bench. We are not getting anyones leftovers. We are getting 2 great QB's that will fit perfectly into Charlie's offense. And even if they don't live up to #1 in the class 2010 and #2 in the class 2008 they are still miles above what KU had on Wednesday.

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BabyJay2009 2 years, 3 months ago

Matt -

Will there be any articles on status of possible Juco transfers, recruits, who's lefts/who's gone, who is the real target, any target that HCCW and Team are going for here? I'm esp. curious about PSU's Nate Dreiling and who's the Lee's Summit stud linebacker??? Do we have any chances for these 2 at all?

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 3 months ago

So, this means Jacorey Shepherd is staying? Sure hope so. Really looking forward to what Pierson, Shepherd, Bourban, Miller can do in an ascending program. By the time these guys are Seniors they will be a force. But, with the change in offense I would be surprised if we keep all of these backs. I actually see Bourban as the one we will see the most of because of his size and potential for backfield blocking.

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baldwinjhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Now call pittsburg state linebacker NATE DREILING and talk him into playing the next 2 years in Lawrence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 3 months ago

I think it's funny yesterdays headline was about landing the offensive lineman and we get these two qb's. Clearly Tait has caught Keeganitis!

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 3 months ago

Changing the subject, and since things are starting to look up, I think we should keep the Border War. I believe it could be parlayed into a big pay day for us.

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Jim Jackson 2 years, 3 months ago

Still can't believe we got both QBs, this is unreal. Hope Weis is here for the next 10 years!

Think Darrian Miller will stick around now??!

Go Jayhawkers!!

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bigtex 2 years, 3 months ago

It is about the QB fitting the coaches system and being the coaches recruit especially at the Qb position.Crist and Heap will fit Charlie's system. Neither QB could fit the systems at their previous schools and coaching changes at their previous schools didn't help either. I see QBs in college get passed around all the time or get dumped by certain coaches and picked up by others.(Flacco,Aikmen). Good luck to KU's new Qbs

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Steve Yeakel 2 years, 3 months ago

Welcome Dayne and Jake, we are blessed to have you. Way to go Charlie and Shane, the best dat ever in Jayhawk recruiting!

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Greg Ledom 2 years, 3 months ago

Jayhawker111, maybe you should change your name to buzzkill111.

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John Mueller 2 years, 3 months ago

jayhawker111-

You truly take the concept of "glass is half empty" to a new level.

You need to dispense with your Eeyore syndrome immediately.

If you won the lottery, would you immediately worry about the tax consequences?

Cmon man!

This is great, great news for the University of Kansas!!

There is no doubt that the big uglies are critical to the success of any football team. The line of scrimmage is where the game is won or lost, i agree.

But, good gosh man! Let's celebrate the good news today!!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

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Ryan Shelton 2 years, 3 months ago

Our O-Line is one of our strengths.

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Jayhawker111 2 years, 3 months ago

Somebody put a 5 star label on these two guys while they were in high school...

Reality is that both of these players were beat out by other quarterbacks in college.

Both could not get it done and were riding the bench.

Nobody should expect that either one of these guys are good enough to make KU a winner.

In order to win you need linemen. If linemen win the trenches and then you win the game.

No quarterback or running back can win a game ---it takes linemen to win.

In conclusion, do not get too excited over a couple of second string quarterbacks.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 3 months ago

Hope you collected n Boise last night. And now because we are friends, go put your life savings on OSU to win. And watch (smaller play) Oregon over Wisconsin if and only if their OC leaves for Pitt before that game.

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petey55 2 years, 3 months ago

"Both commitments will become official on signing day in February, but it appears both former five-star prospects are happy with their decisions already." I believe that statement is inaccurate. Since they are both transferring at semester it would be official once they singed the grant-in-aid paperwork and enrolled for the second semester.

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Mike Crosbie 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to Charlie I'm FINALLY able to move past losing Mangino !!

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Aligned 2 years, 3 months ago

Welcome to KU, guys! I've never been more optimistic about Kansas Football.

Another nail has been driven in the coffin of the slow-to-die Perkins era.

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BillSelf4Prez 2 years, 3 months ago

I am disappointed about not getting Williams, i really thought we were gonna get him. But i didn't even know about him but we lost him to Misery so that pisses me off. But other than that i am PSYCHED!! TWO 5 STAR RECRUITS!!!!!!!! CAN'T WAIT till Weis has a full staff, more time, and some more wins to convince the recruits!!

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Cmill1221 2 years, 3 months ago

It's nice to have a coach that can actually recruit and not just talk about it. Now D-Line!!

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gardenjay 2 years, 3 months ago

Bring on the remaining recruits!!!

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gardenjay 2 years, 3 months ago

Bring on the remaining recruits!!!

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