Sunday, April 22, 2007

Crist crosses country; chooses Charlie | by Pat

We're catching up with an avalanche of ND football news. More on the Blue-Gold weekend and the two newest commits in a bit. But for now, here's the word on ND's newest quarterback, Dayne Crist.

The second Notre Dame High School football player to commit to Notre Dame in as many weeks, California QB Dayne Crist announced on Thursday evening that he will be attending the University of Notre Dame as the 8th member of the Class of 2008.

"I am absolutely thrilled. I couldn't be happier. Ultimately, it was between USC and Notre Dame, and it was a real difficult choice. It was a tough decision, and it took a lot of thought. I have a lot of respect for USC... but Notre Dame just felt right,"
Crist is a fantastic QB prospect and chose the Irish over offers from Southern Cal, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, and Stanford. At 6'5" 220 pounds, Crist is a big quarterback with a strong arm and a great prospect according to his high school coach.
“He completed a lot of deep balls and throws the deep ball very well,” said Notre Dame High coach Kevin Rooney said. “He had the highest yards-per-completion average that we’ve ever had here. He sees the field very well, too, and finds people when they are open, and that isn’t easy for a lot of people.” has him listed with 4 stars and the #66 overall recruit in the nation while has him listed as the 47th overall prospect. Recently he attended the Nike Camp combine in L.A. and walked away with the Camp QB MVP award. All are very good honors for a quarterback who threw for over 1,200 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions last year despite missing five games with an injury. Now, high school stats are usually pretty irrelevant when predicting college success, but a very lopsided TD/INT ratio, like Crist's 17/3 mark, is always a good sign of solid decision making. Crist also rushed for 400 some yards and is a member of his school's track program, which is a clue that he's also not a motionless statue when back in the pocket.

With the current QB depth chart full of talented quarterbacks with plenty of eligibility, some might wonder if taking on another quarterback now is a wise move. The simple answer is yes. Great programs don't get to the top by taking one top player and then taking a few years off. They consistently land great players in order to keep the depth chart full and foster a competitive atmosphere on the squad. It is true that Notre Dame currently has four good quarterbacks on the roster now, but you never know how attrition, whether via injury or transfer, will change that situation. The recent past of ND fielding tight ends and walk-ons at QB should be enough to remind Irish fans of how quickly a QB depth chart can change. Crist doesn't seem to be scared off by the current depth chart though and is well aware of what it will take to see the field.
“I’m a very competitive person by nature,” Crist said. “I knew wherever I went I would have to battle and be as competitive as possible. That was going to come anyway. Winning a spot in college is not easy at all. You have got to go in there and be ready for the most competitive situation. That I knew going in, so then I looked for other things. That was a given going into the whole recruiting process.”
It's the second straight year that ND landed the top quarterback in California, which is a great sign that the Irish are making even more inroads into the talent rich west coast state largely dominated by the Southern Cal Trojans. Crist, who went to middle school with Jimmy Clausen, is now looking to help ND bring in even more talented recruits.
"I'm going to do everything I can to help the team I pick get the top recruits," he said. "I want to win, and I want to win big. I wouldn't have it any other way."