Dayne Crist talks about decision to play for Kansas, Weis

Late Wednesday night, word began to spread that Pitt had hired Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst as its new head football coach.

By Thursday morning, it was official. And by noon, former Irish quarterback Dayne Crist announced on twitter he was going to transfer to Kansas instead of Wisconsin.

I spoke with Dayne on Thursday about how big of a factor the changes at Wisconsin had on his decision.

"I think that was one of the factors but at the end of the day, that wasn't the deciding factor," Dayne said in a phone interview with NewsCenter 16. "Even had he been at Wisconsin, I would have continued to evaluate everything and I still feel this was the best decision for me."

Crist said it was a gut decision and he ultimately went with his heart in choosing Kansas where he will now play for his former coach at Notre Dame, Charlie Weis.

"That's very, very cool," Crist said of now reuniting with Weis. "That wasn't the deciding factor either in going to Kansas but you talk about everything happening for a reason--I don't think you can figure out a better scenario than going to play for the coach that recruited you at another school who has been at two other places since then. Four years later, you have a chance to be coached and play for the guy you started off with."

Crist will bring stability to Weis, just hired as the head coach at Kansas two weeks ago. Both sides know each other well and Dayne is very familiar with the pro style offense that Weis runs.

"I have a high comfort level with the offense he runs—know it very well," Crist explains. "A pretty good advantage walking in the door."

Dayne has also maintained a strong relationship with Weis even since Charlie left Notre Dame.

"He's been supportive of me the last four years whether he was here or not," Crist said. "Always staying involved in my life. Always helped me along and gave me advice even before he was at Kansas."

The Thursday decision ends a whirlwind period for Crist where he decided to transfer, graduated from Notre Dame and went on recruiting visits to Kansas, Wisconsin and Delaware.

"Man, it's been crazy," Dayne admitted with a sense of relief that it's over. "It's been such a crazy last couple of weeks. I'm just so excited to move forward and get back to playing the game that I love."

Because he's already graduated from Notre Dame, Crist is eligible to play for Kansas immediately next season. He will enroll next month, begin classes and be able to participate in spring practice in March and April.

Crist will also be reunited with his former quarterbacks coach, Ron Powlus.

He told me earlier this week he will always consider himself a Notre Dame guy but he wanted one last opportunity to prove that he can do this. Crist says he knew his opportunity was over at Notre Dame.

One of the country's top recruits out of high school, Crist started the season as the Fighting Irish's starting quarterback but was benched at halftime of the opener against South Florida. He played only a handful of snaps behind Tommy Rees the remainder of the season.


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