Dayne Crist Out for the Season

Sophomore Dayne Crist tore his ACL in last weekend's 40-14 win over Washington State and will be out of action for 4-6 months. (Photo - Icon SMI)

Notre Dame fans received some bad news on the injury front Tuesday when Charlie Weis announced that sophomore backup quarterback Dayne Crist tore his ACL in last weekend’s Washington State game and will miss the remainder of the season and likely beyond. Weis announced that Crist would be out for 4-6 months after he has surgery this Friday. The injury leaves Notre Dame with questions at the quarterback position this season and more so in 2010.

Here’s what Weis had to say about Crist’s injury.

Dayne does have a torn ACL. He’s going to get operated on Friday. Just talked to his mom about 11:00 o’clock beforehand to go over plans. He’ll be out about four to six months. That’s how long the recovery is. Fortunately there’s not a lot of other things wrong, but that needs to be done, and it’s going to be done and we’ll have it done this Friday.

And here’s what he said about their plans at the position for the rest of the season.

For depth chart purposes, Sharpley moves up to two, and John Goodman will be practicing as a slash guy. As of today he’ll be working at both quarterback and wide receiver. Not because you guys are at the first three individuals today, but the first three individuals today he will only be at quarterback to knock off some of the rust. He will be — it’s not just for your doing. Once you guys leave, he’s actually flipping back to wide receiver. But we’re starting training him as our fourth quarterback. He really won’t be getting any reps there, because Sharpley needs to get all the reps we can give him to have him ready to go.

As far as having Crist for spring ball, Weis said that he doesn’t expect to have him for the spring.

I don’t think he’ll be taking — I really don’t know the answer on the low end versus the back end. I know one thing that we will definitely be conservative, because the whole deal, you know, is having him full go for August. That is really the bottom line. Whatever we have to do to have him full go for August, that’s what we’ll do.

With an experienced #3 quarterback on the depth chart in Evan Sharpley this doesn’t put the Irish in a major bind in terms of the success of the team in 2009, but in terms of 2010 and the development of Crist, this is a major blow for the Irish.  Weis had been hoping to get Crist more and more snaps down the stretch to get him ready to take over should Jimmy Clausen leave for the NFL after this season – a scenario that looks more and more likely with each good game for the junior quarterback.

Should Clausen decide to leave for the NFL after the end of this season, Notre Dame will head into Spring Football without a scholarship quarterback.  That not only slows the development of Crist, it slows the development of the entire passing game since the young receivers won’t have the extra 15 practices to work on their timing with Crist.  Of course this is all a moot point should Jimmy Clausen decide to return for his senior season, but with a lot of juniors expected to enter the draft this year before a rookie salary cap is able to be put in place combined with Clausen’s stellar season that is anything but a sure thing at this point.

Goodman was a high school quarterback and should be able to fill in as needed, but his future is at wide receiver and having to potentially spend the spring at quarterback would also slow down his development at wide receiver.  Goodman has been flashing a lot of potential over the last few weeks and looks like he could be an impact player at receiver for the Irish in the near future.

For a point of reference, Carson Palmer tore his ACL in the playoffs a few years back and was ready for the start of the season.  Donovan McNabb tore his ACL a few years back in the middle of November and was ready for the pre-season the following season.  Both of these quarterbacks however are professional athletes who could focus all of their efforts on their rehabilitation.  Crist will have to work his rehab around his studies.  Both quarterbacks were also well established signal callers with excellent understanding of their offenses.  Crist will just be adapting to the starting quarterback role if Clausen leaves for the NFL.

Assuming practice starts the first week of August for fall camp, Crist will have had about 8 1/2 months of rehab time. That should be enough time for him to be ready for fall camp, but most athletes say that they don’t fell fully back until the year following an ACL injury.

We’re only 3/4 of the way through the 2009 season and it looks like Notre Dame already suffered its first major injury for the 2010 season.

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  1. I’d like to be as optimistic as some of these posts but Jimmy is going to be a top 10 (maybe 5) pick. More power to him. I’m sick, too, about Crist’s injury. Charlie is not going to go JUCO. Better say a lot of prayers. It looked like we finally had it together.

  2. Don’t forget that Montana should be back next year after his stint in JC. Hopefully he’s improved and can step in as the starter.

    1. Huh?????? He’s the teams third string QB and never plays at Pasadena JC. He played in a couple early season games and had a completion percentage or 28%. People need to wake up and stop buying into the kids name. He is a walk-on that is just on the team because of you know who. If he ever plays the ND program is in real trouble.

  3. Jimmy is as good as gone. I’d tell Charlie to go look for a JUCO QB with good grades. Weeeeeeeeeeee in trouble! I’m still sick to my stomach. Crist is the worst injury of the year.

  4. Personally I do not think Jimmy Clausen leaving will cause a giant collaspe at ND. The coaching will make a decision to run the Wildcat Offense a lot more next year. It will be great to have the balance that the team had this year, but to win games next season the Wildcat needs to be ran more. The big coaching problem is getting the offensive line to gel for next season. Crist will get his legs under him eventually next season. Don’t panic…

    Jimmy Clausen needs to do what is best for him

    1. Michael Floyd (and potentially Golden Tate) at WR, Kyle Rudolph at TE, and you want to run the Wildcat as anything more than a gimmick to give the other team something else to prepare for? That’s retarded.

      If you want balance, it comes out of normal formations, confusing defenses, slowing down the pass rush and setting up play-action. Like this years team, which has run 297 pass plays and 273 run plays, and is currently 5th in the country in yards per game. Not by using a gimmicky offense that telegraphs when you’re running and when you’re passing.

      If the offense needs to work on anything (and its problems pale in comparison to defense and field position from special teams) it is 3rd down conversions – where the wildcat isn’t helpful – and the red zone – which is where we have maximized the limited usefulness of the wildcat.

      1. Well if Goodman’s the QB, they’d essentially be running the wildcat every play except instead of having a dead wideout you got Floyd standing over there. That makes the wildcat calls invisible with respect to personnel and formations. It’s essentially a spread option offense. You can run standard run, pass, draw, playaction out of the shotgun, and mix in read option at will. The defense can’t see it coming.

        Spread option and Weis probably makes a lot of people cringe because of the Dimitrius Jones fiasco in ’07, but lets face it, that experiment would have failed with Vince Young at QB. It didn’t matter what offense Weis tried to install, the offensive line wasn’t going to make it a success.

        If Clausen doesn’t stick around and Weis does his job this Spring, there should be a serious QB competition next Fall. Weis has to do everything to make sure next year is a national championship contender regardless of who’s available.

  5. I think Crist has the potential and physical attributes to be a better quarterback than Jimmy Clausen. He’s bigger, faster, stronger and more humble. I think that Weis should’ve played him more last year when they were getting their ass kicked to give him the experience he needed. It’s too bad this kid was injured during the Washington State Game because if Jimmy leaves for the NFL, which I think would be a huge mistake, he was next in line to start and make it all happen with all above mentioned!!!

  6. Clausen stays. He knows that the Irish need him and that he needs the Irish to become a football legend. The NFL is enticing — for the money, if nothing else — but the successful NFL quarterback may not be the successful college quarterback (and vice-versa). Clausen has a great shot at being a legendary college quarterback — not to mention having an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame — and not just someone who went to Notre Dame and struggled for two years and had one decent season.

  7. Notre Dame will do o.k. whether Jimmy Clausen stays or leaves.

    I like rfc’s comments above which is the way I feel about Dayne Crist He will heal and be ready to go in 2010 and will surprise a lot of people.

    Jimmy Clausen will also be great in 2010 if he returns and if Goodman becomes a quarterback then I think he also will be great. It’s a win-win situation for Notre Dame.

  8. Let’s keep in mind also that Jimmy Clausen could be the man next year. He could be the face of college football like Tebow is this year. Most kids in college do not get to be at that level.

    He will be the magazine cover boy, the talk of ESPN, all of which could raise his stock even more. It will not hurt him to have one more year under Weis, as a matter of fact, it may help him because he will be NFL ready, which will help him whan he gets drafted by a not so good team.

    Like I said, the money will be there regardless, but how many people get a chance to be THE FACE of college football.

  9. Aint no way Jimmy leaves after this year. If he did go, which he wont – aint no way in hell he gets drafted ahead of Tebow. Come on now, I love Jimmy but pro style or not Tebow is one hell of a football player.

    1. Chris,
      I’ll be the first to agree that Tebow is one tough mother and a heck of a football player. He has great leadership qualities as well.
      But the majority of NFL teams want a QB that can make all the throws. That’s JC. Tebow is a runner.
      I hope JC returns for his senior year, but in doing that he stands to lose millions. The NFL is proposing a wadge cap on rookies much like the NBA does. They say that they are prepared to lock the player out in order to acheive it. This could be the last year for first round draft picks to cash in big.

      1. Cap or not, the NFL is going to let the Top 5 get paid. Jimmy is going to get his if he leaves this year or next.

        As far as losing millions, look at Brady Quinn. You can’t tell me he is not as good as Anderson. He is sitting simply so they do not have to pay him. If Jimmy performs, he is going to get paid at the next next level. I think he stays so he can become a ND Legend like Montana.

      2. Scav,
        Your last sentence says a lot.
        As hard as it is to believe, there are some people out there who still believe that money isn’t everything. Or that it can’t buy you happyness.
        Rewriting the ND football record book and going down as perhaps the best QB ever has a special value all it’s own.
        Becoming a ND legend lasts long after the last dollar is spent. And it can never be taken away. It’s your’s forever. Very good point!

      3. Brady isn’t sitting because of financials. He’s sitting because Mangini is retarded. He’s about as sound a decision maker as an ADD Autistic Toddler with Turetts(sp).

    2. The only way Tebow goes before Jimmy is if Tebow becomes a Safety or a Running Back. A position change is the only thing that will help Tebow. Look at every QB that was an amazing athlete in college and what it amounted to in the NFL. Some guys are GREAT college QB’s, but they just don’t make it in the NFL, which I think is the category Tebow fits into.

      Jimmy has the size and arm for the NFL, as well as some mobility. I hope he does not leave because the Irish have so much potential if he stays. We’ll have to wait and see.

  10. Jimmy has unfinished business in South Bend. He stays for his senior year and should be front runner for the Heisman. His draft stock would be even higher potentially first overall. His numbers are great now but what if Floyd had’nt missed 5 games. I love watching Jimmy push the ball deep when MF was healthy. Look at the talent at the WR position, it gets better and better. Also, dare I say what could have been if CW could have gotten the ball to Kyle Rudolph more.

    1. You guys should all read the article, “We’ll forgive you, Jimmy,” over on the blue and gold website. I’m pretty sure many of you already have. With this rookie cap rule looming, it does not look good for Jimmy returning…I hope that I am wrong!

  11. Money talks!! That is what worries me. He can look at what happened to Bradford and think “I need to get paid”. I hope he comes back, but hey we could always run the ‘Golden Cat’ on every down…

  12. This news really makes Jimmy’s decision this winter a huge one. If Jimmy leaves, this program starts over again, but if he stays, it could put this program back into the BCS mix every year. We all know that this offense can hum with an experienced QB.

    I know that everyone is saying that Jimmy is going to leave this year, but I look at it from this point of view. He is going to be a multi-millionare no matter when he goes. This includes the huge insurance policy he will take out on himself if he decides to stay.

    But think about this, he has the chance to leave ND as the best to ever play the position. He can own all the QB records, which I think will never be broken because I don’t think ND will ever have a 4 year starter again. He has all his skill players coming back and a very winnable schedule. His legacy could be the QB who brought the National Championship back to ND. If he leaves this year, he’s just a guy who had 1 great year, which makes him just like Kevin McDougal.

    Think about it, Jimmy can stay and be mentored by one of the greatest QB coaches of all time, throw to a TRIO of All-Americans, get a chance at a first or 2nd Heisman, get a chance at a NC, or he can go get beat up in Tampa or St. Louis.

    Personally, I think this news about Danye will cause Jimmy to stay for his coach and for his teammates.

  13. Getting Sharpley to come back this year, might be CW’s best off season move. As back-up QB’s go, you could do a hell of a lot worst. He has been in this offence for a while now. He has plenty of game experience. And he is a senior. If called on, he will play smart, manage the game, and get the ball to his play makers. He won’t be like some freshmen who try to win the game by themselves.
    It would be great if we could put Navy away early, so he could get in and get some quality minutes. You never know when that might pay dividends down the road.

  14. Aint much to impress with by handing the ball off to running backs all game…Clausen has much unfinished business in South Bend to be thinking about leaving at the end of the year. Don’t think it would be advantageous to come out in a class w/ Tebow – Bradford and company either. Jimmy will be back in 2010.

    1. Bradford is damaged goods, and Tebow doesn’t play in a pro-style offence. Doesn’t mean they can’t be a good NFL QB’s, but if JC finishes the way he has started, he will be rated above both those guys.
      Now he did promise us a National Title, and ND is a 4 year college where they exspect their student atletes to finish what they started.
      A kid can go to any number of colleges and have a chance to turn pro after 3 years. But if you are going to attend ND for 3 years, you may as well finish and get a degree that has some real pull in the business world.

      1. I agree. The last ND player to leave early was Darius Walker a couple years ago (i dont know what he was thinking). You might have to go back a decade to find the next one (im not sure what that says about our talent though).

      2. Don’t forget Clausen enrolled early, and probably won’t have many classes to finish after this Spring.

      3. Go back a decade? Justin Tuck left ND with a year of eligbility remaining in 2005, as did Anthony Fasano in 2006.

      4. Were Tuck and Fasono seniors with a 5th year of eligibilty and left? I guess i was referring to true seniors with my original comment. If they were juniors who skipped their senior season i stand corrected.

  15. i think it’s been the playcalling that limited crist’s production in his limited appearances.

    the kid was a five star recruit and everyone behind the scenes is saying he could easily be as good or better than clausen.

    look at it this way – take that great bootleg run crist had in that purdue game and the insanely beautiful touchdown pass last game and isolate those two plays as signs of his potential. he has clausen’s arm but he’s bigger and faster.

    this knee injury really is the worst possible thing for his development though. sad.

  16. Crist needs to everything he can to get back as fast as he can, but Weis needs to do everything he can to make Goodman the starter in 2010.

    Crist didn’t entirely impress against Purdue this year, and with all that time away, there’s a chance he could be even worse against them next year.

    Goodman’s physical talents and the offense’s firepower are enough to succeed in the college game. That is, if Weis has finally learned the college game.

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