After a career hampered by injuries, bad play and perhaps even more so bad luck, Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist will leave the Irish after this semester and finish his playing career at another school.
Crist met with Coach Brian Kelly Friday night and the two had what was called a very good conversation about Crist getting an opportunity to finish career on a high.
Despite all that went wrong for Crist on the field in his career at Notre Dame, no one is denying his impact off the field as one of the most liked and most generous members of the Irish locker room in recent memory. His charitable efforts off the field have been outstanding in his four years under the golden dome.
In fact, for whatever issues Kelly may have with putting Crist in a football game these days due to the lack of production, the relationship off the field remains a good one.
"Dayne and I had a good conversation Friday and I have granted him permission to speak to other schools," Kelly said in a statement. "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."
Crist will graduate from Notre Dame in a few weeks. Because he has one year left of eligibility, he can transfer and compete immediately with his new school.
It's unknown whether Crist will still be around for the Champs Sports Bowl on December 29th or not. Crist wants to be, but it will all depend on what school he will transfer to.
Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson is a perfect example of a player in Crist's situation having tremendous success after a post-graduate transfer. Wilson arrived in Madison after playing at NC State and has led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl.
Wisconsin would be among the possible schools Crist could transfer to since Wilson will be gone after this season.
Dayne was one of the nation's top quarterback recruits when he joined Notre Dame. After redshirting his freshman season, he tore his ACL during mop up duty against Washington State in 2009.
With a new coach arriving, Crist was able to return from injury early enough to be a near full go by spring practice that year and won the job for 2010. Dayne was 4-5 as a starter with his season ending again to injury due to a torn patellar tendon against Tulsa.
Crist again recovered quickly and beat out Tommy Rees to start 2011. But Dayne struggled greatly in the 1st half of the season opener against South Florida and Rees replaced him in the 2nd half and has been the starter since.
But the South Florida game was evidence that perhaps Crist just had some bad luck. He led Notre Dame on what would be scoring drive on the opening series of the season---only to have Jonas Gray fumble the ball at the 3 yard line and see it return 97 yards for a touchdown.
A similar result occurred in Crist's next major opportunity against USC in October. With Rees banged up, Crist entered the game and led the Irish inside the 5. He then fumbled the ball at the one, scrambled to recover it, but couldn't---see the ball take off the opposite direction as USC returned it for a touchdown. He hasn't seen the field since.
When Rees was benched in the season finale against Stanford, Kelly turned to Andrew Hendrix instead of Crist. That was a clear sign that Crist's days at Notre Dame were likely over.
Off the field, he's the model person any university would ever want representing them. Along with Mike Golic Jr, he's continued the Bald and the Beautiful event, where players shave their heads to raise funds to fight pediatric cancer. He's also very active at the Logan Center among many other things.