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Crist to transfer from Irish; Badgers an option?

After starting and being benched during the season opener, Dayne Crist played sparingly the rest of the way for Notre Dame as Tommy Rees and, eventually, Andrew Hendrix brought the Irish’s 2011 season home at the quarterback position.

Not so unexpectedly, this lost year for the QB will also serve as the final season of Crist’s injury-plagued career in South Bend.

The Chicago Tribune reported late Saturday night that Crist has asked for, and been granted a release from, his Notre Dame scholarship. The decision to transfer was finalized late last week following a conversation between Crist and head coach Brian Kelly.

“Dayne and I had a good conversation Friday and I have granted him permission to speak to other schools,” Kelly told the Tribune. “Dayne has been a valuable member of our team the last two years and if he feels he needs to look for a better situation then I think we owe that to him.”

Crist, who suffered season-ending injuries each of the previous two seasons, will graduate in December, meaning he could transfer to another school and play during the 2012 season, provided his new school offers a graduate program not available at his former school. That was the path that led Russell Wilson to Wisconsin, which won the Big Ten title saturday night with the North carolina State transfer under center.

Interestingly, the Tribune notes that the Badgers could be one of Crist’s potential landing spots. Utah and San Diego State are also mentioned as transfer possibilities.

For his career, Crist threw for just over 2,300 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Crist was a five-star member of the Irish’s 2008 recruiting class and the No. 2 pro-style QB in the country according to Rivals.com.