Dayne Crist, the 6-foot-5, 225 pound quarterback from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks (Calif.), has approximately 13 scholarship offers and says he plans to make his decision within the next few weeks.
"I really want to focus on winning a championship next season and plan to decide on a school within the next few weeks," Crist said. "I'll sit down with my coach and parents and we'll figure it all out.
"Academics are important," he said. "I also want to play for coaches that will help me develop into a better player and be around great players as well."
Crist has narrowed his choices down to Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, LSU and Stanford, with offers from all five, as well as Oregon, Virginia, Florida State, Duke, Iowa, Nebraska, Arizona and Minnesota. The Gophers were his first scholarship offer in February.
He already attended junior days at USC, UCLA and Stanford. "I'm from California so I've always liked watching USC," he said. "I like the coaching staff and their energy. They are really competitive and I love how hard they practice and how they are always fired up. You can't help but be excited just by being around them.
"Notre Dame is great too," Crist said. "I love their academics and tradition, plus getting a chance to work with coach Charlie Weis is huge. He's worked with some of the best quarterbacks. It's an exciting time for them because they are still improving and on the verge of a big breakthrough.
"The campus is beautiful and they are really welcoming," he said. "I love the Midwest hospitality and I was blown away by how beautiful everything was."
Although he hasn't been to Michigan yet, Crist says there's plenty to like about the Wolverines. "They are obviously a great program and always seem to have top quarterbacks. They win every year and are a big-time program for both football and academics."
Crist has a 3.6 core GPA and a 1710 SAT, so academics will be important. "That's why I like Stanford," he said. "Academically they are huge. Their new coaches are fired-up and they really want to put the team back on the map."
He plans to attend the Elite 11 camp later this summer, but by that time he'll most likely already be committed. "It's a hard decision because all these schools are so different and they each have so much to offer. Right now, I don't have a favorite."
Crist finished his junior season with 1300 yards passing for 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions, yet missed five games with a broken vertebrae. He also rushed for 400 yards and four touchdowns.
He benches 265 pounds, squats 415 and has a 31-inch vertical jump.
"I can make all the throws," Crist said. "I'm gonna do what it takes to win, whether that is making plays with my feet or my arm, I'll do it. I'm very intense, competitive and physical.
"As a quarterback you can never be too accurate and that's something I want to work on," he said. "I'd also like to improve my arm strength."