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Malik Zaire | Quarterback

Team: Florida Gators
Ht / Wt:  6'0' / 222

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Florida redshirt senior QB Malik Zaire isn't pushing starting QB redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks for the starting job.
"Yeah, Malik’s been doing a really good job. And you know, we’ll still, we’ll go with Feleipe and move forward from there," McElwain said. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the former Notre Dame starter. At this point, it seems like the only chance that we'll see him on the football field is an injury. Oct 9 - 8:42 PM
Source: SEC Country

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Florida redshirt senior QB Malik Zaire has fallen to No. 3 on the Gators' QB depth chart.

Already beaten out by redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, Zaire has now lost the backup job to Luke Del Rio. HC Jim McElwain attempted to mitigate the implication of this news by saying the following: "You know, (Luke is) healthy. That’s the big thing. He’s back. He’s healthy. That doesn’t mean Malik is buried down at the bottom. There’s things that are ready for him as well and so we’re prepared for whatever may move forward." Odds are against Zaire being given another extended run on the field as a collegiate quarterback.
Source: SEC Country
Sep 18 - 4:59 PM

Florida redshirt senior QB Malik Zaire was 9-of-17 for 106 yards in Saturday's 33-17 loss to Michigan.

This game was far more lopsided than the final score suggested, with Florida bagging 14 points via back-to-back pick-sixes off Wolverines QB Wilton Speight in the second quarter. The Gators led 17-10 after that, but the house of cards crumbled from there, with the offense going into the tank against a completely-rebuilt Michigan defense. The Gators yanked redshirt freshman QB Feleipe Franks (5-of-9 for 75 yards with a lost fumble) -- the starter -- for Zaire, with no real change in the on-field product. The return of RB Jordan Scarlett and WR Antonio Callaway next week will help, but this offense looks completely broken, as opposed to flawed and in need of a few reinforcements. We'll let UF HC Jim McElwain have the final word: "Their guys were bigger and stronger. They whooped us. Plain and simple."
Sep 2 - 7:39 PM

Florida HC Jim McElwain declined to name a starting QB and said three quarterbacks may play against Michigan in the opener.

"Don’t read into this that we’re not happy where they’re at, it’s really more so that the competition has brought out some good things," McElwain said. Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire is attempting to fend off ballyhooed redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks and incumbent starter Luke Del Rio for the gig. McElwain will determine the direction of the offense when he makes his decision. The 6-foot-6, 219-pound Franks is the biggest of the three and boasts the strongest arm. The 6-foot, 225-pound Zaire holds advantages in mobility and leadership, while the 6-foot-1, 211-pound Del Rio has experience on his side. We don't buy the three-QB talk. Zaire remains a small favorite over Franks to eventually win the job outright. The Gators open against the Wolverines next week.
Aug 23 - 3:34 PM

Florida redshirt senior QB Malik Zaire is enrolled in classes at the university.

Zaire announced his transfer to Florida at the beginning of June. Now that he is enrolled in classes, you can count it as official. The former Notre Dame gunslinger will be competing with Feleipe Franks and Luke Del Rio for starting honors come the opening of August camp.
Jun 26 - 2:48 PM

The father of Florida redshirt senior QB Malik Zaire said his son never considered returning to South Bend this fall because the trust between he and HC Brian Kelly had been broken.

"You know, shame on you the first time, shame on me the second time," Imani Zaire said. "… I don’t think Malik wanted to chance it because the relationship, I think, kind of soured a little bit." DeShone Kizer took over as the Irish’s starting quarterback after Zaire broke his ankle early on during the 2015 season. Though Kizer left this winter, becoming a second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, Zaire never seriously considered returning to the Irish. His father indicated that his son felt misled about his odds of starting twice, both during Zaire’s redshirt freshman year, when Everett Golson reclaimed his old job after an academic suspension, and following Zaire's return from injury last fall. Zaire worked with QB coach Dennis Gile to improve his footwork and mechanics this winter. The 6-foot, 225-pound southpaw had 816 passing yards and a 6/0 TD/INT ratio along with 324 rushing yards and two scores over his career at Notre Dame.
Source: SEC Country
Jun 9 - 3:59 PM

ESPN's Edward Aschoff writes that Florida senior QB Malik Zaire "could really make this offense go."

Aschoff acknowledges that if Zaire earns the starting nod in August camp, it could potentially damage the development of redshirt freshman QB Feleipe Franks, who made strides in spring practice thanks to a slew of first-team reps afforded to him by the absence of Luke Del Rio (shoulder). However, the analyst writes in counter that Zaire's transfer "is about winning in 2017." We cannot wait to see this competition play out in August camp -- Zaire and Franks bring completely different skill-sets to the table and the offense essentially will have a sliding doors moment depending on which young gentleman is handed the starting keys.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 6 - 8:00 PM

247Sports' Barton Simmons argues that Florida senior QB Malik Zaire is "a talented quarterback but he's no program-changer."

After waiting for the SEC to tweak its graduate transfer rules, Zaire is now all set to transfer to the Gators. Whether he is set to start is another question entirely, one which Simmons does not view as cut-and-dried. "This is much ado about nothing," he writes. "Florida has a starting quarterback on its roster. His name is Feleipe Franks." The two players offer significantly different skill-sets, with Zaire far more of a dual-threat option while Franks is a pure pro-style gunslinger. And that latter skill-set might actually be more desirable in HC Jim McElwain's attack given what Florida is working with on the roster in terms of receiving talent. Antonio Callaway, Tyrie Cleveland, Brandon Powell, Freddie Swain, Dre Massey and Josh Hammond make up one of the deepest receiving groups in the SEC. Franks also had the benefit of having already been entrenched in McElwain's system for the past year-and-a-half, whereas Zaire will be cramming to learn the playbook.
Source: 247Sports
Jun 4 - 1:36 PM

Notre Dame senior QB Malik Zaire transferred to Florida as a graduate.

Zaire told FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman that he will be visiting Florida on Wednesday before he officially locks this transfer in. He explained to 247Sports that "[c]oming from Notre Dame, you're playing top games every week, and I wanted to continue that trend. I didn't want to run from the challenge, I wanted to embrace the challenge." Zaire started two games in 2015 before breaking his ankle. DeShone Kizer then took over as starter and held the job in 2016. In backup duty last season, Zaire completed 11-of-23 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 34 yards on 20 carries in eight games. He offers a dynamic athletic component on the ground that Feleipe Franks -- a four-star pro-style quarterback in the 2016 class and Zaire's biggest competition come August camp -- does not. Incumbent starter Luke Del Rio will also be in this mix, but is currently recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 4 - 12:07 PM

The SEC announced on Friday that it has amended to its rules to graduate transfers.

The old rule barred teams from adding new graduate transfers if previous grad transfers failed to meet academic requirements at their new school over the previous three years. That rule has been changed to only ban teams from adding a grad transfer over a one-year period if academic benchmarks weren't achieved. This is major news for Florida, reportedly the transfer destination preference of Notre Dame grad QB Malik Zaire. The Gators wouldn't have been able to add Zaire under the old rules because two recent grad transfers failed to make grades. The new timeline paves the way for Zaire to sign with Florida, if that's indeed what he'd decided to do. Stay tuned.
Jun 2 - 2:27 PM

Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel believes that a "realistic expectation" for QB Malik Zaire at Florida is "that he performs a notch better than fellow ex-Domer Everett Golson did in his one season at Florida State."

"Zaire is a solid dual-threat quarterback, but he’s not going to come out and win the Heisman at Florida," Mandel wrote. Zaire will reportedly join the Gators if the SEC votes later this week to lift a restriction on grad transfers that would otherwise inhibit Florida from signing Zaire. Zaire's journey has been winding since he orchestrated a season-opening blowout of Texas in the opener two years ago only to break his ankle the next week. DeShone Kizer supplanted him and it appeared that Brandon Wimbush would do so this year before Zaire opted to leave South Bend.
Source: Fox Sports
Jun 1 - 2:13 PM

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman reports that transferring Notre Dame senior QB Malik Zaire is "leaning" toward Florida, but is waiting for the SEC to loosen up its restrictions on grad transfers.

This very closely echos a report from over the weekend, when Alex Wilcox of WNDU-TV passed along that Florida was the choice for Zaire. Feldman softens that by degrees, saying that it his "lean" right now. As for the SEC's role in this saga, the conference had been barring Florida from accepting graduate transfers after two such players (Mason Halter, Anthony Harrell) failed to reach academic benchmarks. Should the SEC prove unwilling to budge, Texas is looking like a very possible alternate landing spot for Zaire.
May 30 - 2:07 PM

Alex Wilcox of WNDU-TV reports that transferring Notre Dame senior QB Malik Zaire has chosen Florida and is waiting for the SEC to change its graduate transfer restrictions.

The SEC prevents schools from adding grad transfers if they had a graduate transfer over the previous three years who did not hit certain academic benchmarks. That's a problem for Florida, because Mason Halter and Anthony Harrell didn't meet those requirements in 2015. The SEC will review the rule at its spring meetings -- starting on Wednesday -- and Florida is confident that it will be overturned. If it is, Zaire would compete for the starting job with redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks and senior Luke Del Rio. Texas badly wanted Zaire, and is likely his Plan B if the SEC doesn't alter the rule.
May 28 - 5:56 PM

Texas beat writer Anwar Richardson says Notre Dame transfer QB Malik Zaire has whittled down his future school to two programs and Texas is one.

Richardson initially said Zaire might announce his decision on Friday, but later backed off that assumption since Zaire wants to "enjoy graduation." However, the most important info is Texas still being considered along with one other program. Florida, Wisconsin and Harvard are the other three under consideration for that final spot, but Zaire's camp does not want to disclose that information.
May 19 - 8:57 AM

Transferring Notre Dame graduate QB Malik Zaire is expected to make his decision before the SEC holds meetings which could allow him to transfer to Florida.

While there has reportedly been mutual interest between Zaire and the Gators, Florida would need the SEC to allow an exemption for the graduate transfer -- the program is currently barred from accepting such transfers after grads Mason Halter and Anthony Harrell were unable to meet academic benchmarks when they joined the program in 2015. Zaire is expected to make his decision on May 19, before the SEC will meet to discuss the current ruling. With Florida potentially out of the running, Zaire's decision may come down to Texas, Wisconsin or Harvard.
May 6 - 12:13 PM