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Football: Weis secures verbal commitment from Crist

Chris Hine | Friday, April 20, 2007

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has been busy this spring choosing between four candidates for starting quarterback. But in 2008, he may have to throw another name into the mix – Dayne Crist.

The Sherman Oaks, Calif. native – one of the top 100 prospects in the country, according to scout.com – turned down reported offers from Michigan and USC to become Notre Dame’s eighth verbal commitment for the Class of 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. Crist officially announced his decision to play for the Irish at a press conference late Thursday night, Los Angeles time.

Playing seven games in his junior season at Notre Dame High School, Crist threw for 1,200 yards and 17 touchdowns while throwing three interceptions. His 6-foot-5, 221-pound frame is comparable to that of former Irish quarterback Brady Quinn. But Mike Frank, who covers Notre Dame recruiting for irisheyes.com, says Crist has a leg up on Quinn in terms of his size.

“[Crist] is a lot bigger than [Quinn] coming in. He’s a very big kid, strong. But the nice thing about this kid is that he moves really well,” Frank said. “His ability to evade the rush and throw on the run is very comparable to [Quinn’s], though he’s probably a little bit bigger.”

In addition to his throwing ability, Crist can move out of the pocket with ease. He has a 4.6-second 40-yard dash time and rushed for 500 yards during his junior season.

“He’s a really good athlete for a guy his size, and a heck of an arm,” Frank said. “I think there’s probably some mechanical things that they’ll probably need to tweak a little bit – footwork and maybe some throwing motion things – but you don’t get kids this big that move that well very often.”

The quarterback race could be wide open next year as well, especially if one of the four candidates this year does not set himself apart from the rest of the field. Whatever happens, Frank said Crist’s commitment is further evidence of Weis’ ability to bring top prospects to Notre Dame. For example, Crist’s teammate, linebacker Anthony McDonald, also committed to the Irish this spring.

“Notre Dame is hitting with the big boys right now and they’re winning some,” Frank said. “Before [Weis] got here, a lot of times they weren’t even in the race to get these big target, four and five star players. Now, Notre Dame’s in the race and they’re actually winning some of these.

“You want to get to a point where you win about half of them,” he continued. “You’re never going to win them all but if you can win about half you’re going to be a darn good football. Right now we’re probably winning 30 to 40 percent. They’ve been doing an excellent, excellent job.”

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has been busy this spring finding a starting quarterback from four possible candidates for this upcoming season. But in 2008 may have to throw another name into the mix – Dayne Crist.

The Sherman Oaks, Cali., native and one of the top 100 prospects in the country according to scout.com, turned down reported offers from Michigan and USC to become Notre Dame’s eighth verbal commitment for the class of 2012.

Playing seven games in his junior season at Notre Dame High School, Crist threw for 1,200 yards and 17 touchdowns while throwing three interceptions. His 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame is comparable to that of former Irish quarterback Brady Quinn. But Mike Frank, who covers Notre Dame recruiting for irisheyes.com says Crist has a leg up on Quinn in terms of his size.

“[Crist] is a lot bigger than [Quinn] coming in. He’s a very big kid, strong. But the nice thing about this kid is that he moves really well,” Frank said. “His ability to evade the rush and throw on the run is very comparable to [Quinn’s]. Though he’s probably a little bit bigger.”

In addition to his throwing ability, Crist can move out of the pocket with ease. He has a 4.6 40-yard dash time and rushed for 500 yards during his junior season.

“He’s a really good athlete for a guy his size, and a heck of an arm,” Frank said. “I think there’s probably some mechanical things that they’ll probably need to tweak a little bit – footwork and maybe some throwing motion things – but you don’t get kids this big that move that well very often.”

The quarterback race could be wide open next year as well – especially if one of the four candidates this year does not set himself apart from the rest of the field – but regardless, Frank said Crist’s commitment is further evidence of Weis ability to bring top prospects to Notre Dame. For example, Crist’s teammate, linebacker Anthony McDonald, also committed to the Irish this spring.

“Notre Dame is hitting with the big boys right now and they’re winning some. Before [Weis] got here, a lot of times they weren’t even in the race to get these big target, four and five star players. Now, Notre Dame’s in the race and they’re actually winning some of these,” Frank said. “You want to get to a point where you win about half of them. You’re never going to win them all but if you can win about half you’re going to be a darn good football. Right now we’re probably winning 30-40%. They’ve been doing an excellent, excellent job.”