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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 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

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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

Transferring Notre Dame graduate QB Malik Zaire will decide on his new school after he graduates in May.

Notre Dame graduations are set to run from May 19-21. Sounds like Zaire will be announcing shortly thereafter. He is considering Texas, Wisconsin and Florida. Also Harvard. There has reportedly been mutual interest between Florida and Zaire (no surprise there given that team's occasionally non-existent offense), though such a move would require a rule change by the SEC, as Florida is not currently allowed to accept graduate transfers due to the academic failures of former transfers Mason Halter and Anthony Harrell in 2015. The Gators were subsequently hit with a three-year graduate transfer ban. That ruling could potentially be changed in late May.
Source: Rivals
Apr 25 - 5:05 PM

The Gators and Notre Dame grad transfer QB Malik Zaire have mutual interest, according to 247 Sports.

Not only that, but 247 Sports reports that "Florida feels confident it can land him." There's a big snag, though. Florida is prohibited by the SEC from accepting graduate transfers at the moment because OL Mason Halter and LB Anthony Harrell didn't meet academic benchmark requirements upon transferring in 2015. The fallout was a three-year penalty featuring a moratorium on signing grad transfers. Florida needs that rule to be overturned by the league post haste to sign Zaire, and UF coach Jim McElwain thinks that it might be. "Well it’s one that hurt us actually," McElwain said. "With the two guys that we took that first year — or I guess second year or whatever it was, first year, second year — and yet it’s something that they’re going to look at, because we’re unique to any other conference in the NCAA as far as those requirements." If Florida ends up with Zaire, he would compete with Luke Del Rio, Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask for the starting gig.
Source: 247 Sports
Apr 3 - 1:51 PM

Chip Brown of Horns Digest reports that Texas will pursue Notre Dame senior QB Malik Zaire as a graduate transfer.

Texas whiffed in its chase of LSU quarterback Brandon Harris -- Harris chose North Carolina -- and will now turn its attention to another marquee grad transfer. Horns HC Tom Herman has expressed interest in adding a veteran signal-caller to compete with sophomore Shane Buechele (the incumbent starter) and true freshman Sam Ehlinger. According to reports, Zaire was considering Wisconsin, Baylor and North Carolina immediately after he announced he'd leave Notre Dame. Since then, both Baylor and UNC have signed grad transfer quarterbacks.
Source: Scout
Mar 27 - 2:59 PM

Notre Dame graduate QB Malik Zaire will not make his transfer choice until April.

This, according to Zaire's father. The quarterback will continue to train in the offseason, but he will not be an early-enrollee at his eventual new program. This means that he will not participate in spring practice at said eventual new program. Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida have been floated as potential future homes for Zaire. Once the 6-foot, 222-pounder settles on a fresh program, he will likely enroll for summer work.
Source: Scout.com
Wed, Dec 28, 2016 08:03:00 PM