Notre Dame Quarterback Derby will Be Intriguing this Summer



During one of his banner seasons leading the Cincinnati Bearcats, current Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly played two QBs. This fall in South Bend, it could happen again. Maybe.

Dayne Crist is the projected starter, with Tommy Rees number two as of today, but the depth chart isn’t set in stone, or anything like that, as of now.

“We’ll have to obviously cut back and hone in on who the starter and back-up in that order is,” Kelly said after the Blue/Gold spring game.

“but we have knowledge now.  Now we can move forward in making some of those tougher decisions relative to who is one, and who is two.”

For part one of our analysis, focusing on Everett Golson and Tommy Rees.

Today, we focus on Dayne Crist and Andrew Hendrix.

By Paul M. Banks

dayne crist

Crist was having a banner season until suffering a year-ending knee injury in October. His numbers truly compared favorably against the few games of ND’s most celebrated QBs in history. Crist says the knee is close to 100% now, and his main goals for the summer are improving accuracy and adding strength.

Here are some interesting soundbites from the media session following the Blue/Gold Game.

Coach Kelly decided not to name only one quarterback coming out of spring.  How does that make you react?

DAYNE CRIST:  I don’t think that’s going to change what we’re doing.  We’re going to continue to give everything in every practice, and I think that’s what he expects out of us and that’s what we’ll give him.  So nothing changes from our end.

How do you view yourself going in to the game being a starter?

DAYNE CRIST:  You can’t worry about the three other guys.  You have to worry about making yourself better. As soon as you start worrying about the outside things and what everyone else is doing, you can’t make the same kind of progress as you would if you were just focusing on yourself and bettering yourself.

I know how humble you are, but as far as a quarterback position goes, is this your football team?  Do you believe that?

DAYNE CRIST:  I think you have to.  I think you’ve got to.  I’ve got to believe that I’m a starter.  I’ve got to believe that guys have faith in me.

I know that I’m very confident in my ability, and it is something that I’ll continue to work at and make sure that I’m establishing and trying to establish yourself as a starting quarterback.  What you’ve got to do is not give them another choice. I have to continue my play to where there are no clear choices but me.

Sophomore QB Andrew “Gold Haze” Hendrix was likely the spring game MVP (can I copyright that nickname?) as his numbers were by far the most impressive of the four signal-callers. He went 10-16 passing for 113 yards, no interceptions. He also made plays with his feet; running five times for 37 yards and two touchdowns in leading the gold to victory. The play of Hendrix asked the blue defense “are you experienced?”

“I definitely wanted a confidence booster heading into summer camp,” Hendrix said

“It really gives something to build on, I didn’t want to come out here and just throw the ball out of bounds and on the ground, and I think I did that today.”

Hendrix talked about he needs to work on.

“I think after this spring I really know how to watch film, it’s not just watching football, but you’re watching specific things and applying it to the offense. So I really need to up my film game to apply it to this offense.”

Go here for part two, where we analyze/chat with Rees and Golson.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and Facebook



  1. Killershark says

    Killershark says: Dayne [if he leaves Notre Dame Fighting Irish ] can come home to Southern California and enroll and play for THE CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY KINGSMEN in a brand new football stadium, IN THE GREAT CITY OF THOUSAND OAKS CA.

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