Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 12/5/11

‘Tis the season!

No, not that season.

Instead, ‘tis the season of high-profile college football transfers. With the regular season now officially complete, many players are looking to get out of dodge and get to a new location by the start of spring ball, and because of it transfers are coming fast and furious. Included, two high-profile quarterbacks have decided in the last two days to take their talents elsewhere.

The first comes from the land of the Golden Dome and botched red zone opportunities, where the up-and-down career of Dayne Crist has come to an end at Notre Dame. After overcoming two separate knee injuries to claim two separate starting quarterback spots in two separate seasons, Crist lost the starting job this fall to Tommy Rees, and now has lost his will to remain in South Bend. Because he is graduating this spring after four years, he’ll be able to transfer, and play immediately (Ole Miss anyone?).

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly spoke with the Chicago Tribune’s Brian Hamilton on Sunday, telling him:

"Dayne and I had a good conversation Friday and I have granted him permission to speak to other schools," Kelly said. "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."

So ends one of the wackiest careers of any quarterback in recent college football history.

As you may remember, Crist was one of the more highly rated recruits of previous head coach Charlie Weis, and after injuring his knee as Jimmy Clausen’s backup in 2009, won the starting job in Kelly’s first spring in South Bend. Despite it, he never seemed fully comfortable in Kelly’s spread offense, and through eight starts of his sophomore year, Crist went just 4-4 completing only 59 percent of his passes. Eventually he sustained a second injury, and Rees replaced him, going 4-0 as a starter in Notre Dame’s last four games.

Despite it, Crist was still named the starter entering 2011, which was expected to be a promising season for both the junior quarterback and the Irish as a team. They entered the year ranked by most in the Top 15, and even were considered an outside contender at a BCS bowl berth. Unfortunately, the dreams of both the team and Crist ended immediately. The Irish lost 23-20 on opening day to South Florida, and Crist was benched at halftime by Kelly after turning the ball over three times. He played sparingly over Notre Dame’s final 11 games, most famously coughing up the ball in the red zone in a loss to USC.

Things weren’t all that much better out at BYU, where the season played out in an alarmingly similar fashion for now former Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps. Like Crist, it was announced today that the sophomore will transfer, with two years of eligibility left.

When he was on the field, it was an up-and-down, tumultuous time for Heaps, a former highly rated recruit out of the Seattle area. He was named the starter late last season after an injury to Riley Nelson, and in turn led the Cougars to five wins in their final six games, including a New Mexico Bowl victory over UTEP. But like Crist, Heaps couldn’t keep the starting job in 2011, losing it to Nelson, who almost assuredly would’ve been the starter when fall camp broke next September. Instead, Heaps will leave Provo, with rumblings that he could end up at Washington State to play for new coach Mike Leach.

Like Kelly did with Crist, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall released a statement praising his quarterback, saying:

"Jake is a great young man with tremendous potential and someone I deeply care about. I am sorry to see him leave this wonderful institution yet anxious to follow his future development and success."

For any college coaches looking to do some last minute Christmas shopping, two prime-time quarterbacks just hit the market.

For all his opinions, insights and analysis on all things college football and beyond, follow Aaron on Twitter.

Follow Crystal Ball Run @CrystalBallRun.

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