Brian Kelly Names Dayne Crist Starter for Opener

Irish fans, you have your starter under center for the 2011 season opener against South Florida. Head coach Brian Kelly announced on Tuesday morning that senior Dayne Crist beat out sophomore Tommy Rees for the starting job at the quarterback position.

Yesterday, there were rumors on numerous of message boards across the web that the job was going to be given to Rees, a move that would have sent shock waves across the country, but in the end, Kelly went with the more experienced and talented Crist.

If his knee is 100 percent, which all indications that it is, Crist is in store for a huge season in 2011. You could see the QB make strides as the season wore on last year and Crist got more comfortable in Kelly’s spread offense before he suffered the injury in the Tulsa game.

It will be hard to guess the type of numbers that Crist will put up this season, but don’t be shocked to see him put up numbers that Brady Quinn put up his last two seasons in South Bend. Crist is equally as talented and has better overall talent surrounding him than Quinn did on both sides of the football.

Despite not winning the starting job, Rees should still be prepared to see playing time. Unlike last season, Kelly knows that he has a very capable backup behind Crist if the senior ends up struggling in the early portion of the year. Last season, the Irish head man had a handful of true freshman and the seldom used Nate Montana behind Crist.

If Crist does struggle with the offense early on, he may be given a short leash by Kelly, and thus Rees could be inserted right back as this team’s starter. Hopefully it won’t ever have to come to that though.

For all the other announcements that were made today on the depth chart, I will give my thoughts on those later tonight. It is certainly exciting to be a fan of this football team with the opener less than 11 days away.

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