Posted by Tom Fornelli
Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist came to South Bend as the heir apparent to Jimmy Clausen, and after Clausen left following his junior season, Crist came into 2010 with the starting job. Things didn't go all that well for Crist as a starter. For the second straight season his year came to an early end thanks to a ruptured patellar tendon he suffered during a loss at home to Tulsa.
That's when Tommy Rees, a freshman, took over under center for the Irish and Notre Dame has gone 3-0 since with wins over Utah and USC. Which has led to a lot of speculation in and around South Bend that Crist was going to transfer rather than come back and compete with Rees for the starting job next season. Which is news to Crist, because he says he has no plans on going anywhere.
“I don't know where it comes from," Crist told the South Bend Tribune. "There's a ton of negativity anytime you're hurt. People just want to throw you under the rug, and I don't talk to any of those people. So I don't know where I'm supposed to be transferring to.
“They should be informing me, where I'm transferring to. (I'm hearing that) I'm switching positions (too) and quitting football. I don't know which position I'm supposed to switch to. You tell me.
“This is all new information to me, but know I'm confident in my ability, confident in the doctors and the rehab process, confident that I'm going to come out firing when I'm able to come back and they give me clearance on everything.”
If Crist does come back, and it sure sounds like he's going to, Brian Kelly is going to have a tough decision to make next season. Crist may be older and have more experience than Rees, but it's hard to argue with the results that Rees has had on the field. Rees did help the Irish take the lead late in the fourth quarter in the Tulsa game before the defense gave up a game-winning touchdown in the final minute, and has won every start since.
Rees has looked like anything but a freshman since becoming the starter, and he's had to do it while the Irish offense was also without its leading rusher in Armando Allen. If I were to guess at what the situation would be next spring, while I believe there will be a competition, I'd have to think that Rees would start the competition on top with Crist having to play catch up.