Ex-Irish QB Crist transferring to Kansas

December 22, 2011

Dayne Crist announced Thursday that he is transferring to Kansas, where the former Notre Dame quarterback will be reunited with coach Charlie Weis.

Crist revealed his decision on Twitter: ''After a long & difficult decision making process, I'm incredibly excited to join the Kansas football team. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!''

Officials at Kansas could not comment on his decision until he enrolls. He has already graduated from Notre Dame, which means he'll be eligible to play for the Jayhawks immediately.

Crist visited Kansas and Wisconsin before making his decision, which came the same day Badgers offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was hired as the head coach at Pittsburgh.


One of the country's top recruits out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., Crist enrolled in South Bend in 2008 as part of a blockbuster recruiting class.

Things didn't pan out as anybody expected, though.

Weis struggled to win games despite suiting up numerous top prospects at Notre Dame, and was fired after the 2009 season. Crist had a season-ending knee injury his freshman year and another last year, after he completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,033 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions under Weis' replacement, Brian Kelly.

He came back from the injury to regain the starting job this season, but was benched at halftime of the opener against South Florida. Crist played only a handful of snaps behind Tommy Rees the rest of the way, ultimately announcing that he had decided to transfer.

He'll compete for the starting job at Kansas right away.

Sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb struggled with consistency last season, completing 63 percent of his passes for 1,884 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions during a 2-10 season.

Webb was benched a few times in favor of senior Quinn Mecham, who fared little better.

Although he will only have one season of eligibility, Crist represents a major coup for Weis, who needs a strong-armed quarterback to effectively run his pro-style offense. Crist was the No. 2-ranked pro-style quarterback in the nation out of high school, according to Rivals.com, behind only Blaine Gabbert, who is now the starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars.