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Even without a starting job, Crist put on Heisman watch

Feb 24, 2011, 3:06 PM EDT

Getty Images - Nick Laham Getty Images

Never mind that Dayne Crist hasn’t officially wrangled the starting quarterback job yet. One of the best predictors of the Heisman Trophy thinks that Crist is on a short list of players that could end up in New York next December 10th waiting to hear his name called for the most prestigious award in college football.

HeismanPundit.com, the foremost authority on the Heisman Trophy, has released the 2011 Heisman Trophy Watch List and Crist’s name is one of 22 listed.

Here are the rest, in alphabetical order:

Montee Ball, Jr., RB, Wisconsin
Matt Barkley, Jr., QB, USC
Justin Blackmon, Jr., WR, Oklahoma State
Dayne Crist, Sr., QB, Notre Dame
Knile Davis, Jr., RB, Arkansas
Michael Dyer, So., RB, Auburn
Robert Griffin, Jr., QB, Baylor
Ronnie Hillman, So., RB, San Diego State
LaMichael James, Jr., RB, Oregon
Landry Jones, Jr., QB, Oklahoma
Marcus Lattimore, So., RB, South Carolina
Andrew Luck, Jr., QB, Stanford
Taylor Martinez, So., QB, Nebraska
Bryant Moniz, Sr., QB, Hawaii
Kellen Moore, Sr., QB, Boise State
Aaron Murray, So., QB, Georgia
Trent Richardson, Jr., RB, Alabama
Denard Robinson, Jr., QB, Michigan
Geno Smith, Jr., QB, West Virginia
Darron Thomas, Jr., QB, Oregon
Brandon Weeden, Sr., QB, Oklahoma State
James White, So., RB, Wisconsin

The list is quarterback heavy, but Crist’s inclusion gives you an idea of how some analysts expect the Irish offense to explode in season two under Brian Kelly.

Crist still needs to a) prove he’s healthy after another season-ending knee injury, b) beat out Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson, and c) evolve after a solid, but far from spectacular first season in Kelly’s spread attack.

But watch lists are all about putting the cart before the horse. So even if you find the logic of putting Crist on a list of 22 players — or even the nation’s 13 most prolific quarterbacks — Irish fans would likely settle for that quite quickly.

  1. bernhtp - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    e) Crist will also need to beat out our own Michael Floyd for consideration who, with some luck in the health/injury department, is likely destined to shatter every Irish receiving record if the QB and team are having a good year.

  2. whisk3yjack - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    You didn’t get the memo, Keith? Rees has “IT”, the secret sauce, that special something that makes the defense and RBs play better!1one

    How is Crist going to win the Heisman from the bench while Rees is leading us to the promised land?

    • 1notredamefan - Feb 25, 2011 at 9:51 PM

      The “IT” is exactly what I’m talking about also! You can look at many QB’s throughout the ranks of college and NFL and you’ll find many times when the QB lacked the physical prowess of some but more than made up for it with the “IT” factor… We had Clausen we had Powlus but we didn’t have the hardware with them, we can look to a legend like Montana and see the likeness of the “IT” factor that carries with it National Championship’s.

      My money rests easily on Rees and I look forward to our future with him… (at least next year 2011) Golson looks pretty special… “it’s in the sauce….”

      • borromini - Feb 26, 2011 at 12:28 AM

        Guess you failed to pick up the sarcasm in whiskeyjack’s comment. ;-)

      • 1notredamefan - Feb 26, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        @borromini: yep sure did and still do…I’m trying to jump on board with everyone else as to the fact that Kelly and Co. waited till after being embarrased by Navy and keeping it close against Tulsa to open up there book of tricks and let the boys off there leashes…..You right it was all a conspiracy to make Dayne un-able

      • whisk3yjack - Feb 26, 2011 at 11:08 PM

        Apparently HeismanPundit.com is in on the conspiracy too because Crist’s on the watch list and Rees isn’t.

      • 1notredamefan - Feb 27, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        Question: Who was the last senior QB whom played for ND with at least 1 year of experience that wasn’t in the list for Heisman hopefuls? I’m being lazy…..but we could probably bet there isn’t too many?

      • borromini - Feb 28, 2011 at 12:04 AM

        Um…you’d be surprised how it is not that hard to name numerous starting/returning Senior Irish QBs that weren’t on the Heisman preseason list or discussed during preseason before a watch list was published annually. Here’s the list going back to 1980:

        – Carlisle Holiday
        – Jarious Jackson
        – Ron Powlus
        – Kevin McDougal
        – Terry Andrysiak
        – Steve Beuerlein
        – Blair Kiel
        – Rusty Lisch

        During that same period…here are the few starting/returning QBs that did make the list:

        – Jimmy Clausen
        – Brady Quinn
        – Rick Mirer
        – Tony Rice
        – Joe Montana

        2:1 ratio so Crist shouldn’t be considered such an “automatic” as you imply.

      • borromini - Feb 28, 2011 at 12:08 AM

        Clarification: I made an error…Montana was pre-1980 when he was a Heisman hopeful in 1978. Important because I noted the 2:1 ratio since 1980.

      • bernhtp - Feb 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM

        Rusty Lisch was also pre-1980.

      • borromini - Feb 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        Yup you’re right…guess we can leave Montana on the list after all! :-)

      • 1notredamefan - Feb 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        McDougal backed up Rick Mirer for 3 years from 1990 to 1992and he was even pushed out of the way for Powlus until he went down in the final scrimmage before the season started….Senior yes experience no

      • 1notredamefan - Feb 28, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        Holiday was made a receiver before his senior year in favor of Quinn

      • 1notredamefan - Feb 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM

        Lisch wasn’t a starter his junior season either Montana was in at that time, so he’s gone too

      • borromini - Mar 2, 2011 at 1:15 PM

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish_starting_quarterbacks

        Rusty Lisch started two games as a Junior…nice try in removing him. As for Holiday…he started 12 games in 2002 as a Junior and started the first 3 games as a Senior in 2003 before getting pulled. Yet he wasn’t on any Heisman list that summer. It wasn’t until 2004, as a 5th year Senior, that he played WR.

        Bottom line…it isn’t as automatic as you would like to make it sound that ND QBs will be on a Heisman list if they’ve started the previous year.

      • 9irish - Mar 9, 2011 at 5:29 PM

        Kevin McDougal…one of the most underappreciated and forgotten of ND QBs.

  3. canucksfan22 - Feb 24, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Is it to early to start the “Dayne is Able” ??

  4. scardino - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Well, regardless of whether the pre-season experts believe in him, the important question is whether Kelly has faith in Crist. I suspect that, after having seen more of Kelly’s offense, Dayne Crist will have made a lot of improvement in his decision making and general grasp of the system. His numbers were similar to Tommy’s numbers and he played against tougher defenses. I’m sure the leaps and bounds by which the defense has improved will help Dayne out significantly.

    • 1notredamefan - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:01 PM

      As much as it sounds like I’m against Crist, It’s really not what I’m all about…If Crist comes out next year and his play is better then the rest of em, GREAT! Just don’t know if it’s possible? I will stand behind whomever wins out in the spring and fall practices 100%! GO IRISH!!!

  5. bonerchamp - Mar 2, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    No way, an overhyped player on the Irish?

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