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Crist all class as he returns to Notre Dame for graduation

South Florida v Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 03: Dayne Crist #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is pressured by Ryne Giddins #97 of the University of South Florida Bulls as Taylor Dever #75 tries to block at Notre Dame Stadium on September 3, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jonathan Daniel

He’s no longer a part of the Irish football program, but Dayne Crist can proudly say he’s a Notre Dame graduate. After participating in spring practice with Charlie Weis’ Kansas football team, Crist is returning to South Bend for this weekend’s graduation, reuniting with friends and former teammates for Senior Week and the graduation festivities.

David McCoy of WSBT had the chance to catch up with Crist, and as usual -- the quarterback was all class, having this to say about his four seasons in South Bend.

“Definitely wanted to come back for graduation and walk and be part of that ceremony,” Crist told WSBT. “Notre Dame has been such a big part of my life that this is really kind of the accumulation of a great four years.”

“The thing is, Notre Dame did so much for me in the time that I was here that I’ll always be grateful and always be indebted to Notre Dame,” Crist said, “and what that degree entails, and just the relationships that I had here, the great people, the community. I mean, everything that went on in the four years that I was here, I’ll always be thankful for and grateful for, and will always be a positive in my book.”

McCoy also had a chance to catch up with Crist on the football front, where the quarterback seems to be making up for lost time after reuniting not only with Weis, but position coach Ron Powlus and former Irish assistant Rob Ianello.

“I’m very fortunate and very blessed to have that opportunity and be back with coach Weis, and really just continue to build the relationship that we’ve always had,” Crist said. “It was pretty surprising, actually, to see there wasn’t much of a gap in getting back together and speaking the same language and getting back on the same page. It’s nice being back with him and Coach Powlus and Coach Ianello, and some of the familiar faces that I’d been around when I was here.”

We’ve spent the past few years following Crist’s career at Notre Dame, and watched him battle back from two major knee injuries and a demotion during his senior season. He’s handled all of it with the same dignity and class that he handled this interview.

There’s no telling how his final season in college football will go at Kansas, where he’ll be joined by former teammates Mike Ragone and Anthony McDonald, but Crist has already earned the respect of his new teammates, being named captain for next season.

Great work by McCoy tracking down Crist. Well worth a read.