It wasn't long after the first game of last season that Dayne Crist knew his time at Notre Dame would soon be coming to a close.
"I think I knew pretty early," Crist said this week, in an interview with WSBT. And now, his time at Notre Dame truly will come to a close. Crist is back in South Bend for Senior Week and graduation.
"Definitely wanted to come back for graduation and walk and be part of that ceremony," Crist said. "Notre Dame has been such a big part of my life that this is really kind of the accumulation of a great four years."
Crist calls it a great four years despite the fact that it endured a coaching change, two season-ending injuries, a demotion, and eventually, a transfer. But in keeping with the attitude Irish fans and followers came to appreciate - perhaps too late - Crist isn't bitter about the turn his career has taken.
He'll walk away from Notre Dame this weekend with a business degree, and an opportunity to keep playing football - at Kansas, with former Irish coach Charlie Weis. He just finished his first spring with his new team.
"Obviously it's very different from the experience that I've had here," Crist said, "but it's just a great opportunity. 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 says they picked up right where they left off.
"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," Crist said. "So it's nice being back with him and coach (Ron) Paulus and coach (Rob) Ianello (both Weis assistants at Notre Dame), and some of the familiar faces that I'd been around when I was here."
Add in former Irish teammates Mike Ragone and Anthony McDonald, and it's a veritable South Bend West.
"It's kind of funny how things work out," Crist said.