Tuesday, January 22, 2013

All-star showing boosts Dayne Crist’s stock

National team quarterback Dayne Crist (10) of Kansas holds up the trophy as head coach Dick Vermeil, right, and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith celebrate after the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 in Carson, Calif. (Ric Tapia/AP Images for NFLPA)

National team quarterback Dayne Crist (10) of Kansas holds up the trophy as head coach Dick Vermeil, right, and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith celebrate after the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 in Carson, Calif. (Ric Tapia/AP Images for NFLPA)



National team quarterback Dayne Crist (10) of Kansas holds up the trophy as head coach Dick Vermeil, right, and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith celebrate after the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 in Carson, Calif. (Ric Tapia/AP Images for NFLPA)

Former Kansas University quarterback Dayne Crist boosted his NFL Draft stock tremendously during the past two weeks, turning in a solid performance at one all-star game and earning MVP honors at another.

The Notre Dame transfer who started KU’s first six games of the 2012 season but was benched in favor of red-shirt freshman Michael Cummings for much of the second half of KU’s 1-11 season has been one of the hot names on the postseason showcase circuit during the past few weeks.

After finishing 6-of-12 passing with one touchdown in a 40-7 victory at the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game on Jan. 11 in Tucson, Ariz., Crist one-upped himself with a 7-of-10, two-touchdown showing during last weekend’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Los Angeles.

The big night, which staked the National team to a 17-0 lead en route to a 34-0 rout, earned Crist MVP honors, and Monday in an interview with the Journal-World, he talked about what a shot in the arm the two games have been for his career.

“It was an incredible honor and extremely flattering to have been named MVP,” Crist said. “I felt extremely blessed all week long to have been surrounded with great players and coaches and had an absolute blast. I am so thankful that the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl invited me to be a part of their game.”

Crist said he had not heard much feedback from coaches during the past few days, but added that he felt good about delivering such strong performances in front of so many coaches and scouts.

“I just tried to focus on practicing well all week and having that translate over to the games these past two weeks,” he said. “I was extremely blessed to have visited with many scouts each day and hope that leads to further contact down the line.”

Heading into the 2012 season, Crist, who even showed up as a long shot on the Heisman Trophy voting odds in Las Vegas, was viewed as a fringe NFL-caliber quarterback who could help his stock tremendously with a solid senior season. That solid season never came, as the former five-star prep standout threw for just 1,300 yards, with four touchdowns and nine interceptions, in seven starts.

Part of the 6-foot-4, 225-pound QB’s struggles came because of the enormous pressure put upon him by KU’s success-starved fan base, himself and KU coach Charlie Weis. But as the season went on, it became clear that Crist had adopted more of a let-it-rip attitude.

Even though the altered mind-set did nothing to help KU win games, it was clear that Crist played some of his best football during KU’s final few games.

Crist currently is in New Jersey working out at Test Sports and also has started training with Scott Brunner, who specializes in training quarterbacks.

Although the showcase games are finished, Crist has KU’s pro timing day to look forward to — March 15 — and also figures to get at least a few more workouts in front of NFL scouts.

“Physically, I am just trying to improve in all areas and get bigger, faster, and stronger,” Crist said. “Football-wise, coach Brunner and I are fine-tuning footwork and mechanics, and I’m trying to be the best QB I can possibly be.”

Here’s a quick look at what a few NFL Network analysts had to say about Crist prior to last weekend’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl:

Todd McShay: Consistency is what they are looking for. Looking at his career, it was full of injuries, up and downs, and a transfer. Winds up getting benched. When you look at him on tape he has the size, looks the part, makes some throws that draw you back in when you start to give up on him. He has some parts you are looking for but he needs consistency.

Bill Polian: He has to perform under pressure. He needs to have a good ball game. He does have all the tools including intelligence. He needs to go out here and perform under pressure, and if he does people will take notice of those tools and his draft stock will rise. Everything rests on how he performs on Saturday.

Robert Smith: He has fought through injuries and adversity, and those tend to settle you down. You saw some inconsistency with accuracy and arm strength. His arm strength isn’t elite but may be serviceable at the next level. He is the kind of guy from a mental aspect that could be as good as any.


lawyermog 8 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Eddie Root; he's a man with a halo!

burnmu 8 years, 9 months ago

Congrats Dayne! I think you can play at the next level for the right team and hope that you do. Thanks for your time here, best wishes

Phil Leister 8 years, 9 months ago

Matt, interesting statement assigning blame for Crist's early season struggles to the pressure from the fans. Has Crist ever acknowledged this or is it just your opinion?

Matt Tait 8 years, 9 months ago

No. I've never heard Dayne mention it.

Just an overall observation based on the fact that so many people were so excited about his arrival and viewed him as "the difference." (understandably so)

Doug Cramer 8 years, 9 months ago

Wish him luck...he has a great attitude and seems like a good dude.

ccarp 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure right now he is just working to get into a camp and get signed one way or another. And if not, can you blame him for trying? I wish this young man all the best.

Jory Collins 8 years, 9 months ago

I agree with you on Crist, but Dontari Poe would disagree with the NFL not drafting on potential.

David Leathers 8 years, 9 months ago

"The NBA drafts on potential. The NFL drafts on results."

See: Tim Tebow

NebraskaJayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Tim Tebow supports what he is suggesting. TT won a NC in college.

David Leathers 8 years, 9 months ago

Exactly my point. Maybe I should have elaborated a little more. I was giving an example for the other folks who didn't understand his simple statement. Thanks for correcting me though.

Kirk 8 years, 9 months ago

You never know. Many NFL teams might say, "but of COURSE he sucked at Kansas. Kansas sucks."

Everybody is looking for a diamond in the rough, a free ride, an untapped surprise they can add to their quiver. Crist could turn out to be a bargain for someone.

Eric Dawson 8 years, 9 months ago

Dayne has always been a good guy, and everywhere but on the field he has been very impressive. I wish him all the success he can find and hope he always thinks of himself as a Jayhawk. With all the discussion that went on over the past year, I will always wonder how much better he would have done this past season with at least one other dependable receiver besides Pick. Guys able to get open and hold on to the ball when they are thrown to do wonders for a QB's confidence level.

bigtex 8 years, 8 months ago

Pick's injury to his knee did'nt help Dayne,thats his best receiver getting hurt in game 2. I heard Pick was maybe at 75 to 80 % during the season.

ccarp 8 years, 9 months ago

Keep working, Dayne. The past is the past and the future looks bright. Keep working and good things will come. Rock Chalk!

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Table_Rock, I wish him the best.

I think that he'll make a good backup somewhere in the league. I could see him as a late round pick by some team that has a solid starter, he could come in and master the offense and run the scout team and play backup in blowouts or injury situations.

Jason Montgomery 8 years, 9 months ago

Just give it up already and go sell insurance

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

A degree from Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business, with a major in management-consulting makes you an insurance salesman?

I think he might have a better fallback than that.

Mike Barnhart 8 years, 9 months ago

Dayne Crist looks great getting off the bus. His quarterback play in 2012 was dismal! He was wildly inaccurate and made plenty of poor decisions. He was benched by the one man who believed in him in favor of a juco level dual threat quarterback.

If the pressure and expectations of quarterbacking a 2-10 football team rattled him, how in the world will survive in the NFL?

gongs4ku 8 years, 9 months ago

I am blinking here wondering if I really just read what I apparently just read... Crist in the NFL? What? He has about as much a shot at the nfl as I do. And I don't. I can't believe anyone is seriously questioning this.

He got a college education, now he should go work in the field of his major... his days on a football field are done.

David Leathers 8 years, 9 months ago

And I can't believe that some of you are being so ridiculous. Dayne Crist took a chance on KU. It may look as if it's the other way around because of a dismal performance, however he had nobody to throw to, had no passing protection, and had a ton of pressures because he wanted to make the Jayhawk fanbase proud. All you guys can do is dog him like he's a Tiger or a Wildcat.

I hope, just for the sake of people like you, that Dayne Crist makes an NFL team. Better yet, I hope it's your favorite team, and their starting quarterback breaks his legs.

NebraskaJayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

I do agree that he didn't have anyone to throw to. Kind of makes you wonder what could have been if McCay had been cleared to play. That's assuming McCay lives up to his hype.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 9 months ago

And I can't believe you're delusional enough to blindly say the guy's a good football player when he isn't, just because he played for KU.

Look, not a person you're calling out would ever consider Dayne Crist a bad guy. He's a hard-worker, dedicated, and a complete class act. But to say he is a good quarterback is a disservice to quarterbacks.

By all means wish him good luck, but don't say he got the shaft, or our receivers were the reason, or he "took a chance on KU." Because that's crap. He flat-out underperformed, and regardless of the uniform he wore for one season, you can't refute that.

But above all, I do wish the guy good luck. I think he would make a tremendous assistant coach someday.

NebraskaJayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

C'mon seriously going to say our receiving corps is up to par? Sure, Crist was innacurate for the most part, but would it have made a difference if he actually had a go-to receiver that could actually go get the ball if the throw was off a little? Those kinds of receivers make QBs look a lot better.

NebraskaJayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

I also know that Patterson got hit in the hands and facemask in a crossing pattern more than once...I believe one ended up in an interception. It's those kinds of mistakes that aren't taken into consideration. I do think he deserved to be bench in place of Cummings, but man I sure do think Crist has the tools.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 9 months ago

You're right, on two counts, and I appreciate the response.

No...our receivers are not up to par. They are below average. But he had more misfires than dropped passes. And just as you pointed out a few instances with Patterson, please recall how many times Crist had somebody wide open on a post or fade....only to overshoot them by a mile. Thus, I think it's an oversight to blame the receivers.

Also, I agree with you that he has the physical tools. He's big, athletic, and he has an arm. I also believe he has a tremendous football IQ.

But the problem is simple. He doesn't have the mental game, which of course goes well beyond football IQ. By mental game, I mean he is not mentally tough enough to handle pressure and play with poise. He looks like a future Hall of Famer in practice, but when he steps onto that field during a game, he looks scared. The game moves waaaay too fast for him, and he can't perform when he is depended on. That's a problem.

Contrary to popular belief, he did have time in the pocket. But on multiple occassions, he couldn't make the proper decision to throw it away fast enough, and took costly sacks as a result.

I couldn't agree with you more that he looks great on paper. But if you can't handle the mental strain of a game, you're no good to anyone out there....and you certainly won't make it in the pros.

Believe me, please, when I say I wish it weren't the case. A guy like Dayne deserves success in the game he loves. But he just doesn't have what it takes.

Robert Brock 8 years, 9 months ago

The kid tried. Face it, KU football is a total mess.


Bee Bee 8 years, 9 months ago

How bad was the competition in these "ALL STAR' games?

canuckhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Does anyone know if Dayne has ever been in the same room as Will Forte? Just sayin...

vd 8 years, 9 months ago

If Crist makes an NFL team, can we conclude that our coaches are horrible?

Micky Baker 8 years, 9 months ago

That Turner Gill was a terrible coach, YES.

PSM 8 years, 9 months ago

Is it really that spectacular that he played well in a couple all star games where the players only go half-speed?

lv_jhwk 8 years, 9 months ago

For all the naysayers, say what you want about Crist and his performance during the season. But the ask yourself the last time you have heard KU football, MVP, and All-Star used together in any way in recent memory.

yates33333 8 years, 9 months ago

Dane's problem is that he can't run, can't elude a rush. KU's line didn't give him much time to look for secondary receivers who were open at times. He did misfire more than I ever thought he would, but you get jumpy when you are being pressed by the defense. He just might be a pretty good pocket passer with a line that can protect him, especially if he gets comfortable. All-Star games aren't usually very good tests of any player. I hope he makes it in the pros. Probably as a third string or backup QB. Of course, ideally as a first rate starter for KC. That I don't expect but would like to see. The only bad thing is that if he makes it he will be referred to as a former Notre Dame QB more often than a one year KU signal caller.

Mangino_Maniac 8 years, 9 months ago

"Part of the 6-foot-4, 225-pound QB’s struggles came because of the enormous pressure put upon him by KU’s success-starved fan base, himself and KU coach Charlie Weis."

You can't be serious. If he can't handle that pressure, he surely won't be playing in the NFL.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 9 months ago


Pressure comes with the territory. And placing any blame on the fanbase is absolutely absurd.

HawksRGreat 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations to Dayne Crist!

No matter what the future holds and no how the past unfolded, Dayne had a great showing in the game. If he makes it into the NFL, that's great. If he does not play another down of football and becomes ordinary like the rest of us, he has finished in style.

I am guessing that this game and his performance meant everything to him.

Pbbut 8 years, 9 months ago

If it's what he wants, I hope he has a future in football.
As a QB, I'm certain he's been under "pressure" from the first time he took a snap, it goes with the job.
Based on hype, his uncertainty and inaccuracy were a mystery. Remember, he lost his job to a RS freshman who hadn't taken a game snap since half way through his senior season in HS, due to his own knee injury. Coach Weis and every other Jayhawk wanted him to succeed.
As for the "haters", you may want to remember that Crist didn't perform poorly just to make your like miserable. I believe he honestly tried his best and just didn't get it done. In my mind, he will always be "one of ours."

Rick Arnoldy 8 years, 9 months ago

Geez, folks, let the NFL GMs and Scouts do their job. I think they're more qualified than you.

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

God I hope he makes a roster, just to shut up the haters.

C'mon Dayne! Don't give up!

kranny 8 years, 9 months ago

He had receivers that included an ex QB(who did not have Kerry Meier's talent), one who couldn't catch a handoff, a tight end that caught 10 passes at his previous school and all were too slow to be any kind of deep threat. He also had a line that allowed 26 sacks on the season. Not saying that Crist is Montana but talented players tend to play better with other talented players which KU did not have except for the RBs. Problem is that every team in the NFL have talent(except the Chiefs) Give him a chance, he may surprise.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 9 months ago

I hope he succeeds. If you look at QBs, on average about 1-2 get injured a week. Most teams carry 3 teams because of the new rules of the NFL Labor agreement. So 96+about 15 more to cover injuries, you are looking at about 111 active QBs. If you look at most teams they have one good one, and one potential backup (usually not so good). A third string QB just has to hold a clipboard. I'm guessing a team could take a flyer on him. Look at Jacksonville and Kansas City alone, they both need three QBs.

BringBackMark 8 years, 9 months ago

Let's face it, two or three crucial plays in the early part of the season would've given us a 4-8 or 5-7 season and we'd all feel differently about KU football. He just couldn't make the plays. Yes, for whatever reason our O-Line couldn't pass block and our receivers couldn't get open. Perhaps we're blaming players when it may be coaching. Time will tell. Good luck Dayne.

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