Monday, April 29, 2013

Dayne Crist grateful for shot at NFL

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)


He was benched midway through a disappointing 2012 season, never regained the five-star form he had out of high school and finished his college career with little hope for a pro career.

But even with all of that stacked against him, former Kansas University quarterback Dayne Crist on Saturday night fielded a call from the Kansas City Chiefs and accepted an invitation to mini-camp in a couple of weeks.

“I am incredibly grateful and thankful for the opportunity to continue pursuing my dream,” Crist said Sunday night from California. “I can’t thank my family, friends and coaches enough for helping me reach this point.”

After a five-year college career that had more lows than highlights and tested him in every way imaginable, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound former Notre Dame quarterback somehow finds himself in the same position his five-star pedigree and sterling high school statistics led many to believe he would be in when the ride began prior to the 2008 season: in an NFL camp, competing to make a roster.

In many ways, the undrafted-free-agent route could not have worked out better for Crist. In Kansas City, Crist will compete with career back-ups Chase Daniel and Ricky Stanzi, as well as second-year pro Alex Tanney and fellow undrafted free agent Tyler Bray, out of Tennessee, for roster spots behind new starter Alex Smith.

Crist will not be alone on the quest. Fellow Jayhawks Bradley McDougald, a safety who signed a free-agent deal with the Chiefs after the completion of the draft, and Toben Opurum, a defensive end/fullback, who like Crist, received an invitation to camp, also will report to Kansas City’s mini-camp on May 9.

“I’m just excited to have an opportunity,” Opurum said. “Plenty of athletes in this country could be given a chance, and it’s a blessing that multiple guys from KU were able to get that chance, despite how the season went.”

Patterson stays positive

Former KU wide receiver Daymond Patterson is one of a handful of Jayhawks still looking for an opportunity in the NFL. Patterson, a 5-8, 180-pound play-maker, said his agent had talked to a handful of NFL teams and was continuing to let them know the Mesquite, Texas, native is still out there.

Known throughout his career for his active Twitter presence, Patterson has been open about his appreciation for the love and support he has received from friends, family and fans since the completion of last weekend’s draft.

“It was disappointing not getting picked up by now, but life goes on,” he said. “When I first got to KU, I didn’t think I was gonna play right away, I didn’t think I was gonna be switched to defense, and I didn’t think I was gonna play for three head coaches, five quarterbacks and five position coaches either.

“But I didn’t question things then, and I’m not gonna question what’s happening right now. I’m just gonna put my head down and keep going to work.”


Phil Leister 9 years, 5 months ago

It's too bad for Daymond. But really, 5-8 is just too freakin small to make it in the NFL unless you're really special.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 5 months ago

Devon Austin 5'8" drafted in the top 5 as a receiver.

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Tavon Austin has a skill set that falls into that special kind of impact player category.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 5 months ago

Austin would be one that falls into the "really special" category.

PSM 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm surprised he's referred to as a "playmaker." He made like two plays three years ago.

kellerman411 9 years, 5 months ago

I always root for Jayhawks even after they leave but my lord, what makes any receiver who played at KU in the last 4 years think that they could be NFL material? Honestly, I feel like most of them were D2 guys. Just compare the way Briscoe and Kerry played to Daymond Patterson... after you do that, realize that even Briscoe has been a fringe guy since he got in the league. He's been hanging around the bottom of rotations for a few years now and was even recently cut.... luckily he mad another team. Like I said, I hope Daymond makes a team and proves everyone wrong but was he surprised when he didn't get drafted? Who told this kid he might get drafted? Sounds like his agent is blowing smoke..

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

It is always a terrible idea to pursue your dreams. Both of these guys should totally give up the ideal of playing professional ball because some people don't think they have what it takes. Because, IF they don't make the cut in pro football there is nothing else in life that they could possibly do.

Kids, if you're reading - never, never, never pursue your dreams because, if you don't make it there is always someone out there who will say " I TOLD YOU SO ".

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 5 months ago

Good for u. And never, ever get a degree in English Lit.

jayhawkbenny27 9 years, 5 months ago

Not just a smart PR move but smart football moves. Under prior regimes the Chiefs almost avoided the 3 local schools and missed out big time on some undrafted FAs... See Chris Harris. Worst part is he's in division

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 5 months ago

Dayne Crist is not Chris Harris.

He'll be lucky to stay on the practice squad with the Chiefs.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 5 months ago

Agreed with kellerman up above.

Has everyone gone insane in thinking Patterson and Crist should play a single down in the NFL? They had one of the worst seasons I've ever seen out of a QB and WR in the college game.

Dayne Crist....Jordan Webb played twice as well as he did. And Webb went into the fetal position when a defender was within 5 yards of him (See the Missouri game that year).

As for Patterson...disappointing senior display, and that's being gracious. No touchdowns by wide receivers. I reiterate...Patterson DID NOT GET A SINGLE TOUCHDOWN during his senior season, and he feels he should be playing professional football.

I guess the Kool-Aid flowed even more than I thought last year.

lv_jhwk 9 years, 5 months ago

Aside from the very first poster, who else has said anything about playing?? All I see are fans who are simply hoping that these kids get an opportunity, to have a chance. The possibilities of that chance turning into anything more (making the team) might be slim to none, but at least they've had the experience.

So I would ask this of you: what do you have against these kids getting a chance to live out a dream, if even for a few days?

vd 9 years, 5 months ago

Opurum made his mistake 4 yrs. ago when he refused to play fullback. Had he gone that route, he would have learned how to block, and would probably have been drafted. Wearing my crimson and blue glasses, I'm guessing he would have been better then the Kitty fullback, who was drafted.

KGphoto 9 years, 5 months ago

Refused? That’s a bit much. KU offered him a RB opportunity and he took it. He was doing pretty well too, until the Gill switched him. I’m betting he still IS better than the Kitty FB. Maybe not a better blocker, which he can fix quickly, but better rushing and receiving.

JakeBarnes 9 years, 5 months ago

I hope he makes it, and becomes one of the best of all time. Still, I can't fathom the thinking of the Chief's coaches, etal.

Again, Opurum was the best player KU had for the last four years. I can't understand why he wasn't snapped up by some team as a possibility. The last I heard was the Ravens and Cardinals were interested. I haven't heard if KC or Dallas did anything about him other than show an interest several weeks ago.

I've been a daze since KU, the coach and the guard, booted away our chances in basketball. The coach by not taking the guard out of the game and using the smaller guard who was more in control.

kay_you 9 years, 5 months ago

The same organization that has not been able to find a replacement for Len Dawson and has signed it's 4th ex-49er QB. Hope Dayne can find a job with them but this is not a team that knows how to evaluate QB talent.

jhawk1998 9 years, 5 months ago

How about mentioning that Crist was MVP of the Collegiate Bowl? That is why he is holding up a trophy. He has had accolades more recent than high school.

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