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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

QB Dayne Crist eager to reunite with Charlie Weis

In this Oct. 31, 2009 file photo, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis puts in backup quarterback Dayne Crist against Washington State in the second half in San Antonio, Texas. Crist has decided to transfer to Kansas, where the former Notre Dame quarterback will be reunited with coach Weis.

In this Oct. 31, 2009 file photo, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis puts in backup quarterback Dayne Crist against Washington State in the second half in San Antonio, Texas. Crist has decided to transfer to Kansas, where the former Notre Dame quarterback will be reunited with coach Weis.

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Dayne Crist has wanted to play in the NFL since he first picked up a football at the age of 6.

And if things go well during his one season at Kansas University under the coach who recruited him to Notre Dame out of high school, Crist may get that chance.

For now, though, the former five-star prospect and Fighting Irish quarterback is focused only on making sure that his reunion with KU coach Charlie Weis is as beneficial for Kansas as it is for him.

“At this point, that’s not a conversation that I’m having,” said Crist of his pro potential. “The conversation that I’m having is, how are we gonna be successful on offense at Kansas? That’s the most important thing to me right now.”

With his financial-aid agreement signed and many of his personal bios now reflecting his new school, Crist officially can begin his countdown to Kansas.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound righty who grew up rooting for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and hopes someday to follow in his footsteps, chose to finish his college career at Kansas because of Weis, who recruited him to Notre Dame back in 2008 and the man who, Crist believes, gives him the best chance to showcase the skills that made him the country’s No. 2-ranked quarterback in his high school class.

“He’s the greatest offensive mind I’ve ever been around,” Crist said of Weis. “So playing for him as an offensive player is very, very exciting. He’s just so knowledgeable with everything in terms of schemes and personnel and ways to take advantage of defenses. It’s really fun to play for him.”

Asked to describe the Weis offense in greater detail, Crist obliged, but spoke in generalities because of the vast make-up of Weis’ attack.

“It’s a pro-style offense, so I think a lot of it demands a little bit more out of the players mentally,” he said. “But once everyone gets the hang of everything, it’s real fun and a real exciting offense to play in.”

Why?

“It varies,” Crist said. “We’ve kind of got everything in the arsenal. But we’re good about game-planning and figuring out what works well against our opponents.”

Crist will join a team that has a solid group of running backs: James Sims, Brandon Bourbon and Tony Pierson. Questions have popped up about whether Darrian Miller, last season’s second-leading rusher, will be back in 2012. While Miller’s status is unclear at this point, his addition only would make KU’s backfield stronger. Crist said running backs of all kinds typically play a key role in the Weis offense.

“Definitely,” he said. “Every position is so vital. Having a talented stable of running backs is going to be huge for us.”

As for the guys he will throw to, Crist said KU’s new offense would not be picky about the make-up of its wide receivers.

“With coach Weis, I’ve played with big guys, fast guys, small guys. It doesn’t really matter,” Crist said. “I think at this point it’s just about guys that love playing and will be playmakers. Size and speed and all that stuff … that doesn’t make a difference, really. We need guys that are smart, that know what they’re supposed to be doing and are disciplined in their route-running and just want to make plays.”

Crist makes Weis’ offense sound simple. It’s not.

But KU’s new QB said as long as guys are willing to put in time to master it, KU should benefit tremendously.

“He’s a great coach and has a great way of teaching,” Crist said of the offense’s architect. “As long as everyone buys in, I don’t think that’ll be a problem.”

Crist, who is scheduled to arrive in Lawrence on Jan. 13, said he already had been in contact with several of his new teammates and added that he was looking forward to joining them for offseason workouts.

“The biggest thing for me,” Crist said, “was just knowing that football ends for everybody, no matter how long you play, whether you’re an NFL all-pro, a guy that just played little league football or anywhere in between. So just maximizing whatever time I have left to play football was what was most important. I love this game so much, and I’ve been playing since I was 6 years old. It’s tough to imagine what life will be without it.”

As for any extra pressure that might come because of the excitement surrounding his commitment, Crist, the first five-star football recruit in KU history, said he would use that as a method to motivate himself and his new teammates.

“That’s all stuff that I can’t really control,” he said. “I just love playing. And I’m going to love playing just as much this next year as I did when I was 6 years old. I’m excited that there’s a buzz, but that’s gonna be a buzz for the entire team. That’s something that will be nice to have around us, but we just have to do whatever it takes to be as successful as we can.”

Crist on Allen Fieldhouse

One day after Weis officially was introduced as the new KU football coach on Dec. 9, Crist took advantage of his connection to snag a seat in Allen Fieldhouse for the Jayhawks’ 78-67 victory against No. 2 Ohio State.

What did he think?

“That was something else,” Crist said. “I’ve never seen a basketball game like that. Just seeing the excitement with the fan base and just how loud it got … that was very exciting and something I definitely hope we can carry with us to the football stadium when we start playing this fall.”

OU receiver granted release

Oklahoma wide receiver Justin McCay, a red-shirt freshman who played for new KU offensive-line coach Tim Grunhard at Bishop Miege High, has been granted a release by Sooners coach Bob Stoops and could be exploring a transfer to KU.

After red-shirting in 2010, McCay, 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, played in three games this season but did not record a reception.

As a senior in high school, McCay was the No. 1-ranked player in Kansas in the Class of 2010, according to Rivals.com. Reports have indicated that McCay also is considering Kansas State and Missouri. If he follows through on his transfer, McCay would have to sit out the 2012 season.

Comments

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 3 months ago

I('m sure there are better places to put this BUT how 'boutDarren Sproles make the all-time single season record in all purpose yards.. New Orleans should publicly thank SD for POOR personal decisions...

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BrockIII 2 years, 3 months ago

Rumors posted on Twitter say McCay will be given full release by OU to transfer to KU. If McCay is given a waiver due to a family situation, he could play immediately and not lose eligibility. Not sure if that is the case here - his father died months before he made his college decision in 2009 and it sounds like he became very close to Grunhard. Otherwise, he would sit out the 2012 season and lose a year of eligibility due to it being an intraconference transfer, which would leave him with two years remaining.

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jgrobb 2 years, 3 months ago

bee-ville = I can't bench 100 lbs but yet I feel empowered to criticize the football team's strength conditioning, OR, I am/ was a 'B' student yet I feel empowered to criticize how often Gill's players attended class.

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Jim Jackson 2 years, 3 months ago

No clue as to why Miller would consider transferring. He'd have to sit out a year. Him Peirson and Bourbon all have superior speed to Sims. Miller will also get bigger (hopefully gain 10 lbs) and stronger and hopefully faster by working out his lower body (always toughest to improve speed and when it does improve, it's only by a fraction of a second 4.5 40 yd dash to 4.4 40) so if one of those 3 goes down at any time, there should be enough carries to go around as I dont believe Sims should take away carries from those 3. Thoughts?

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Regarding the track, it's a question of how close Weis and Zenger want our fans to the action. It's also a question of how much of an advantage it can be for Weis' players. Below I've posted a clip to show the feel of what Kansas can have by digging the field lower and adding eight rows of seats at the same angle so the sight lines are preserved throughout the stadium. The cost is nowhere near what a random poster claimed the other day. He's talking about a complete stadium renovation. Kansas is not. Get a KC firm involved and get it done in three months for about 1/100th the cost of a complete stadium renovation. RCJ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1g5di9mHIo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 3 months ago

What's wrong with just getting rid of the entire track program and using it's annual budget to cover the expense of removing the track?

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Ben Kliewer 2 years, 3 months ago

It looks like a lot of these articles on KUSports.com are written through Crimson and Blue colored glasses. A lot of the articles I'm reading outside of this website is saying that hiring Weis may have been a big mistake. I know he says he's learned from his mistakes at Notre Dame, but with the way he tanked there, it's going to take some convincing. Heaps is another issue. With the more I'm researching on him, it's looking like he was WAY overrated. Looks like we could be heading toward low, middle of the pack status at best...an improvement, but definitely NOT where we want to be. Who knows how long Weis will stay here as he seems to switch jobs on a regular basis. I wish we'd quit getting hosed. Thanks for firing Mangino, Screw Perkins.

All in all, color me skeptical until Weis and Heaps can prove themselves. Crist, I'm not so worried about.

And as always, my skeptical pessimistic attitude is all ahperse's fault.

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bville_hawk 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope that everyone who dislikes the track has committed to purchase season football tickets for the next 10 years or so. I'll bet that if we start selling out Memorial Stadium on a regular basis that the track issue will be resolved.

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741hawk 2 years, 3 months ago

“That was something else,” Crist said. “I’ve never seen a basketball game like that. Just seeing the excitement with the fan base and just how loud it got … that was very exciting and something I definitely hope we can carry with us to the football stadium when we start playing this fall.”

I'm very excited about Crist and other prospects, but I guess they didn't show Crist the track!

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boknowssports 2 years, 3 months ago

Its sad to hear this stuff coming out about Gill's program. For the kind of money he was paid, one would think he would be more on top of this. Obviously our record supports, in some way, these reports. Anyway, the Weis era seems to be getting off with a bang with these 5 stars and all. I've heard the Crist has a cannon for an arm. With our running backs, hopefully a much improved defense, KU football should at a minimum elevate itself from the national sports reporters daily jokes.

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blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

To save everyone time, I've written Jaybate's column for him:

I saw a Sports Illustrated with Dayne Crist and Joe Montana mentioned in two separate articles. To say that Dayne Crist is a greater quarterback than Joe Montana just does not make sense.

Charlie Weis is too heavy to be a head coach. No fat coach will ever make it to the Orange Bowl.

Riboflavin.

Hit 'em high, hit 'em low. Go through 'em and around 'em and when the breaks are against us and the boys are up against the wall, tell them to win one for the Skipper.

Turner Gill was an excellent clock manager.

Praise lord, Larry Brown - in spite of the probation you left us with.

Till next time.

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russkie10 2 years, 3 months ago

I've heard from many reliable sources that players weren't going to class much and if there were in class, they were goofing off. Also I've heard of weight training was a joke which I find it quite believable after seeing all the games this year. What a waste of money on season tickets!

Perkins should donate a lot of money to KU Athletic Dept. as a penalty for his hiring of an inept coach that made KU football a national joke.

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rockemchalkemrobots 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the fix, Matt. It can't be easy coming up with new ideas for stories. Heck, I was almost tapped after the expose I wrote on the track re-dedication...

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bville_hawk 2 years, 3 months ago

There was some talk a month ago or so that our previous head coach had been lax in requiring that players attend class, etc. Has anyone seen any follow-through on this?

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AirCapJay 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree that college players can learn a lot from one season to the next. Even though our defense was one of the worst last year, I'm sure they learned a lot and would not be surprised to see them all motivated.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Apherse didn't say we would win 7 games. He said we would "go 7-5 at best". Key words there are "at best". I agree with him.

Realistic expectation... 5 wins Not out of the question... 6 or 7 wins

College players generally improve every year. We return a LOT of players so i theory there should be a lot of improvement. From a natural talent stand point (based off of recruiting websites which are more relevant than we give them credit) we have some decently talented players coming back. We could realistically make big strides with good coaching, steady improvement across the board, and a major upgrade at both QB and DT.

I think we are selling ourselves short if we merely expect 3-4 wins.

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Annette Lee 2 years, 3 months ago

A solid QB can change the offense, remember Reesing ?

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 3 months ago

Dayne's name should be in the ring of honor! Although he will be here for one year and go 7-5 at best, he is the man that got this thing rolling. I'm pretty sure no Crist would of ment no heaps no McCray etc. And this building project would have taken much longer.

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Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 3 months ago

what is going on with Miller? i haven't seen any reports that his status is "unclear" at this point. these unsubstantiated speculation phrases are really frustrating.

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bigtex 2 years, 3 months ago

I have seen players all over the country that have committed to certain D-1 programs knowing that a system or coaching staff would be a great fit for them. The problem is coaches and systems move on or get fired(ALOT). All of these D-1 football players that want to transfer to another D-1 and play right away can't !!! I believe if a coaching staff leaves a certain program players should be able to transfer without losing a year of eligibility and be able to play immediately.The NCAA states your scholarship is with the University not the coaching staff, which is a bunch of BS. Fortunate for Crist he graduated and is eligible to play right away. This is a loop hole student athletes have to be eligible to play right away. For the players that made a bad decision going to the wrong program that didn't fit them, they should have to set out a year if transferring to another D-1.

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blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope Darian stays, he was the best player on the team last year.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Heaps to McCay... This could be good!

I have a hard time believing McCay goes anywhere but KU with the Grunhard connection. There have been some big talents in Kansas/KC the last few years that have gotten away... Justin McCay, Blake Bell, Geneo Grissom, Dan Tapko, the Brown brothers, Michael Rose, Matthews, Starling (even though he opted for baseball)... Hope to see more Kansas talent end up at Kansas.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

I LOVE FOOTBALL ARTICLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ferd Magellan 2 years, 3 months ago

It's going to be weird cheering for a player with a degree from UND. I'm so glad he seems like a nice person.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Great article.

Might be noted McCay was also ranked as a 5 star.

RCJ Weis!

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Mangino_Maniac 2 years, 3 months ago

Justin McCay would be an excellent target for Heaps!

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