Shortly after Charlie Weis was named the new head coach at Kansas, replacing Turner Gill after the former Buffalo head coach was dismissed after two rough seasons, former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist visited with his former coach to discuss a potential transfer.
The oft-injured signal-caller, who completed 59 percent of his passes in 2010, left South Bend after ultimately losing his starting job to Tommy Rees. The benching was the last in a long string of disappointments for Crist, who struggled to stay healthy and fit into Brian Kelly’s version of the spread during his time at ND.
Crist, who will have one year of immediate eligibility remaining, was recruited by Weis at ND and is expected to decide between Kansas and Wisconsin in the near future.
But if Crist lands in Lawrence and runs Weis' pro-style offense in 2012, who could be positioned to take the reins in 2013 and beyond?
According to Jayhawkslant.com, former BYU starting quarterback Jake Heaps was scheduled to visit Kansas over the weekend.
Heaps, who had a standout freshman campaign in 2010 before losing his job to Riley Nelson this fall, announced that he was leaving BYU in early December. He finished his Cougars career with 3,768 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 15 starts. Despite the strong second half last season, turnovers and inconsistency ultimately led to the sophomore's benching this fall. But there's no question that Heaps is an intriguing talent.
The ideal situation for Weis would be landing both quarterbacks. In this scenario, Crist, as a graduate student, would be able to play right away just as Russell Wilson was able to with Wisconsin this season. Heaps must sit out the 2012 campaign due to underclassmen transfer rules, but he'd be ready to restart his career in 2013.
Of course, Weis inherits junior Jordan Webb, who we still may not know enough about because of the lack of playmakers and bad offensive line surrounding him. Redshirt freshman Brock Berglund is an intriguing prospect, but Weis clearly has an ideal in mind -- and that player doesn't seem to be on the current Jayhawks roster.
While his hiring left many in the national media scratching their heads, perhaps Weis will have more success operating a bit out of the spotlight in Lawrence. On the recruiting trail, he has already made trips to South Bend and worked various areas in Kansas City. Landing a pro-style quarterback -- or, possibly two -- could really serve to jump start the Jayhawks early in their new era.
We know that Weis' tenure will ultimately be defined by whether he's able to field competent defenses and bring in solid recruits who are able to develop under this coaching staff. The Jayhawks have been unable to field enough speed to remain competitive in the Big 12, and the team's youth hasn't developed quickly enough to make a big impact. But having strong play at the quarterback position is a big start to the rebuilding project. And although Crist only has one year of eligibility remaining, a talent like Heaps could await in 2013 to give the Jayhawks potential stability for two consecutive seasons.
In many ways, this could be the most important recruiting moment for Weis at his new home.
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