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Notre Dame QB Crist seeks transfer

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)

Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist has received permission to talk with other schools about transferring for his final year of eligibility.

The next step would be for Crist to officially ask to be released from his scholarship. He is scheduled to graduate in December.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has said he will do whatever he can to help Crist, whose desire to transfer was first reported Sunday by The Chicago Tribune.

"I was not surprised. Dayne's been professional all year. He's worked hard,'' Kelly said Sunday night during a teleconference to discuss Notre Dame's invite to the Champs Sports Bowl. ''But he knew he wanted to continue to play, and he was going to get that opportunity probably somewhere else. It didn't surprise me. We want to do everything to help Dayne to make sure he gets that opportunity.''

Kelly said he wasn't sure what Crist's role would be as the Irish get ready to face Florida State in the bowl game, which will be played Dec. 29 in Orlando, Fla.

''We've given him a release and he's going to have to pursue some of those things. Right now, it's pretty much up in the air. I've got to focus on the guys that are going to be here,'' Kelly said.

Crist was the starter for the season opener before he was benched at halftime of a loss to South Florida. He was replaced by Tommy Rees, whom he had beaten out during training camp for the No. 1 role. Rees started the remainder of the games during Notre Dame's 8-4 season, with Andrew Hendrix also stepping in as a change-of-pace quarterback. Hendrix saw considerable action in the season finale at Stanford last week after Rees was shaken up.

Crist, in his fourth year at Notre Dame, battled back from season-ending knee surgeries in 2009, when he was a backup, and 2010, when he was the starter. He did not play as a freshman in 2008.

''I came in here with Dayne. Great guy. Great leader,'' said Irish star receiver Michael Floyd. ''Through all the stuff that went on in his career here, he still kept his head up high and stayed a good friend of me and a good teammate to everyone.''

He would be eligible for an exemption that allows a player who has earned an undergraduate degree from one institution to transfer to another that offers a graduate program which his undergrad school did not. He can then play immediately without sitting out.

Wisconsin star Russell Wilson, who led the Badgers to the Big Ten championship in his first and only season with them, is an example of the rule. He stared his career at North Carolina State.

''You're never going to meet a better guy than Dayne,'' senior safety Harrison Smith said. ''Getting to know him off the field and being friends with him off the field is something I'll always be happy that we got to do that. I hope he's successful wherever he ends up going.''

Crist played in 17 games at Notre Dame, completing 199 of 338 passes for 2,327 yards with 16 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He appeared in four games this season, completing 15 of 24 passes for 164 yards with one interception.

Tagged: Buffalo, Notre Dame, Dayne Crist, Brian Kelly, Tommy Rees

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