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Crist makes it official: Transfer in motion

Dec 4, 2011, 12:36 PM EDT

Dayne Crist

It started with a tweet last week (of course it did, this is 2011 after all), quickly deleted after it spread like wildfire through cyberspace:

walkerRcarey Walker Carey
I have a sneaking feeling that I will be a Wisconsin Badgers fan next year.
8 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply
Retweeted by @SeanCwynar98

After weeks of speculating where Dayne Crist would play football next season, the dot-connecting from a random tweet sent by a Notre Dame student that’s friends with the quarterback, echoed by defensive lineman Sean Cwynar, and viewed hundreds of times by Irish fans all across the country officially kicked into motion with news exclusively broken by the Chicago Tribune, though already known by just about every member of Notre Dame nation.

Dayne Crist is officially leaving Notre Dame after he graduates at mid-semester and head coach Brian Kelly has granted permission for Crist to begin talking to schools looking for a quarterback.

“Dayne and I had a good conversation Friday and I have granted him permission to speak to other schools,” Kelly told the Tribune. “Dayne has been a valuable member of our team the last two years and if he feels he needs to look for a better situation then I think we owe that to him.”

That Crist is leaving is far from a surprise. After being named the team’s starting quarterback after a heated battle with Tommy Rees that lasted all through preseason camp, Crist lasted 30 minutes in the role, pulled after an ineffective and mistake riddled half of football against South Florida put the Irish in a 16-0 hole they couldn’t get out of. From there, the senior quarterback — widely (and appropriately) heralded as a team leader — was relegated to the bench, a very visible reminder that the 2011 Irish, a team with high expectations, had disarray at the one position that determines a team’s ceiling.

Crist did get one shot at redemption this season after being relegated to the bullpen. With Rees dazed after a knee injury against USC, Dayne enter the game in relief during the second half. The senior quarterback looked crisp and comfortable with the offense, driving the Irish down the field and completing a clutch fourth down throw to Tyler Eifert to keep a potential game-tying drive alive. But what happened to the hard-luck Crist would crystallize his career under the Golden Dome. Under center and ready to pull the Irish even, Crist fumbled the snap, failing to fall on the ball as it squirted behind him. The fumble was picked up by a Trojan and run in for a back-breaking touchdown. It was the last meaningful snap Crist took under center for the Irish.

The Tribune report targets Wisconsin, Utah and San Diego State as potential landing spots for Crist, who is eligible to play immediately under NCAA transfer rules. Of course, the Badgers just took advantage of the same rule with Russell Wilson, and the fifth-year quarterback led the Badgers back to the Rose Bowl and had one of the most efficient seasons in college football history.

Wherever Crist will go, he’ll need to find his way onto the field and play in a system that accentuates a skillset that had the Southern California natives one of the most highly-rated players in the country coming out of high school. Whether head coach Bret Bielema is willing to take another one-year player, and one far less of a sure bet than Wilson, one of the ACC’s best players, isn’t certain. It’s likely Crist will go some place where the spotlight isn’t quite as bright, a situation that might benefit both team and player equally.

After four winding season and two major knee injuries, Dayne Crist’s career at Notre Dame is over. While it didn’t end the way he had wanted it, he’ll have one last season to reclaim a career path that seemed certain when he first stepped foot on campus.

  1. brendanunderscoreg - Dec 4, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    Class act.

    • NDfan1224 - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:10 PM

      Good luck Dayne thanks for being a class act ever since you got to ND.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Dec 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      oh, here goes our talented QB that got to start the whole 2 first quarters of the year.

      he was replaced by tommy “cardboard” rees.

    • nudeman - Dec 4, 2011 at 8:04 PM

      A TOTAL class act.

      I never understood the benching and still don’t. Had they put in Hendrix or Golson, both of whom are the prototypes for BK’s offense, then MAYBE I’d have understood. But TR? Wow. That was like Pamela Anderson getting tossed out of a nude photo shoot in favor of Lily Tomlin.

      I hope he remains a classy guy and doesn’t rip BK in public; or at least I hope he waits until after signing day for the next recruiting class.

      Last thing: I’ve seen it said here and elsewhere that he should go to USC. That would be like Grant fighting for the Confederates.

      Should go to SD State. His family can easily come watch and the Aztecs have a tradition of high powered offensive football. Good fit.

      • uawlocal1136 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:40 AM


        You just can’t move on, can you? You’ll be taking shots at Tommy Rees until you take a dirt nap, (and from where me and the boys at the mill sit, can’t be soon enough). The Pamela Anderson analogy is a classic. Pubes, she hasn’t done a photo shoot since, oh I don’t know, you still had a smidge of testosterone coursing through you pre-pubescent veins. Give the kid, and all of us a break, sack-up, dial it back and get to work. Heard your mill was switching production to making Easter marshmallows. Now there’s something you can legally stick you finger into. By the way, the Sandusky’s are calling. Rumor central has you and Big Gerry sharing more than a room at the Ticket City Bowl. Go Irish!

  2. bernhtp - Dec 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    I wish Dayne the very best of luck, something that has so far been visibly absent in his college football career.

  3. notredamegrad - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    I’m thrilled for Dayne and know that he’ll succeed wherever he goes, whether playing football or not – he’s a fine man who has given so much to Notre Dame and the South Bend community over the past 3 1/2 years.

    I’m not sure I understand why Kelly had to “release” him from his scholarship. Is this simply because he’d be leaving half-way through his fourth year? Would any scholarship athlete graduating in December need to be released from that scholarship in order to graduate? Presumably he’d have to apply for a fifth-year scholarship, so the release isn’t from that, correct – it’s simply for the spring?

    • bernhtp - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      My understanding is that the scholarship gives the university an exclusive for the athlete and hence the release. Dayne is graduating this month, so obviously won’t need it anyway.

      I hope he finds a good situation where he can finally showcase his elite abilities.

  4. vegasmark - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    I wish Dayne the best of luck. Guy is a solid team player and it’s too bad his time at ND was less than spectacular.

  5. seanb20124 - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Good luck Dayne

  6. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Dec 4, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Good luck to him. He deserves more than the delusional fandom of the Irish football fandom.

  7. notredamegrad - Dec 4, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Wow. Search “dcrist10” on Twitter this afternoon, select to view “all” tweets, and you will see literally hundreds of incredibly grateful, warm, encouraging messages from well-wishers to Dayne, from ND fans and fans of other programs wishing he’d come to their school (Utah, Florida, Wisconsin…). He’s going to bring a lot of fans with him to whatever team he plays for next year. The guy’s got quite a stellar reputation, and still, even after this season, has thousands more followers on Twitter than any other ND football player – he’s right now at about 12,500; Manti has 11,000, the other guys have no more than 4-6,000 each (Dayne’s number of followers has actually _increased_ over the course of this season – try to explain that). There’s a lot of well-deserved love for Dayne Crist out there, which is amazing in the face of the obstacles he’s run into in his time at ND.

    • oldestguard - Dec 4, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      In the game of life, he is a RKG.

      It will be great tracking him next year.

      Much success, Dayne !

    • notredamegrad - Dec 4, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      And at about 9:30 tonight, Dayne Crist tweeted the following, graciously, in response to the enormous support he received regarding his transfer today:

      “I am absolutely overwhelmed by the support I have received from family, friends, and ND nation. Im thankful for my time at ND. Thank you!”

      • notredamegrad - Dec 5, 2011 at 4:28 PM

        In the day and a half since word got out that Dayne is transferring from Notre Dame – he is not playing for ND anymore and is not currently signed up to play anywhere else – he has *gained* nearly 100 new followers on Twitter. This is crazy.

        So good to see people inspired by a good person trying to make the best of it.

  8. jonrambo - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    If Barkley goes pro, then he should transfer to USC. He will be able operate a pro style offense and in the process be guaranteed of a nice stomping of ND.

    • irishbornraised - Dec 4, 2011 at 6:04 PM

      he’s already led SC to one victory over the Irish, why not do it again?

      • gatordomer - Dec 4, 2011 at 9:39 PM


      • ndtoronto - Dec 5, 2011 at 6:39 PM


        lol how can you be so sure that one play caused the irish to lose…and oh yeah i think the only reason they got to the redzone was b/c of DAYNE!

        Dayne, tear it up next year and make kelly say, “Why on earth did i have this dude on the bench behind tommy rees!!!”

        Good luck next year but just stay away from the irish 😛

    • gatordomer - Dec 4, 2011 at 9:41 PM

      Kiffin would love to beat the Domers with Dayne at QB.

  9. irishbornraised - Dec 4, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    I guess I would have left too, when Kelly put in Hendrix he made it clear that Dayne had no chance at the starting job

  10. jerseyshorendfan1 - Dec 4, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Dayne’s luck can’t be all bad….he’s due for a turnaround and I bet he will light it up if given the chance. I just hope he lands with a team that doesn’t play ND so some Defensive Coordinator can’t pick his brain over our playbook. Maybe Charlie has some interest at UF. In any case, he seems like a real good kid, so best of luck Dayne.

  11. trbowman - Dec 4, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Wish him the best wherever he goes. Good luck Dayne.

  12. hihochopsuey - Dec 4, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    I wish him the best. Also glad that he will have a DEGREE from ND if his football career does not work out. The ND nation will always be there for him.

  13. 9irish - Dec 4, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    That one play on the goal line against USF….just turned everything upside down and changed lives. Not unsual to have a fumble on the goal line, but to have it bounce like that and be ran back the other way IS unusual. And it happened to us TWICE. Things were not properly aligned this year for some reason.

    Best of luck to him. I hate to see him go. They have to clear out this QB log-jam that they created.

  14. gatordomer - Dec 4, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Maybe he can reunite with CW in Gainesville. Gators could use a QB. Dayne, it’s great to be a Florida Gator. Wherever he goes, I wish him well. He is a total class act who never really got a chance because of injuries and transition.

  15. c4evr - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Hey Dayne, go to Wake Forest and come back and do a Zach Frazer on Kelly.

  16. rcali - Dec 5, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Great kd, just couldn’t handle life under the big lights. Few can.

  17. eagleswineagleswin - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    You all are fools. Great kid this and great kid that. You don’t even know him. Terrible QB who got out played. He needs to lay off the ganja and concentrate on football. Yeah I said it. What you don’t think golden domers hit the pipe once in a while???

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:20 AM

      Typical eagles meathead. You, sir, are the fool.

    • ndtoronto - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

      why are you posting your idiotic comments here?

  18. jonathanfesler - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    I thought Christ should have transferred last year and take a year off to completely heal up! Staying didn’t help his possible pro carreer at all? I had high hopes for Christ he has the tools to be a great QB, just needs the right situation!!!

  19. irishman72 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Good for him and i wish him all the best. Never really had a fair shake of it at ND but he is a quality kid that i hope goes to a place where he can win in his last year of colleg football….Class act all the way for sure…Best of luck to you Dayne….

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