SOUTH BEND, Ind. — After graduating from Notre Dame in May, quarterback Malik Zaire appears to be transferring to Florida.
Fox Sports columnist Bruce Feldman reported via Facebook that the left-handed prospect will be joining the team on Wednesday to get acclimated to his new home.
The decision ends months of speculation about where he’d play out his final year of college eligibility. Wisconsin was among a handful of schools Zaire was reportedly considering last winter, though delays in his decision-making process seemed to lessen the interest Wisconsin had in entertaining the idea.
Zaire discussed the decision with GatorBait.net, telling the publication that competition was a contributing factor in choosing Florida.
For me, I didn’t want the challenge to dissipate at the end of the day. Coming 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.”
If it’s a challenge Zaire was looking for, he almost certainly would have had his hands full in the Badgers program trying to beat out incumbent Alex Hornibrook. Instead, Zaire will have the opportunity to battle a pair of freshmen (Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask) for playing time under center.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — According to a report from Tuesday, Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire is set to announce the school to which he’ll transfer — a list that still includes Wisconsin.
Zaire will complete his undergraduate degree this spring, with graduation set for May 19-21. His preferred schools include Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin, recently adding Harvard to the mix as well. The report states that Zaire has set a deadline of two weeks to make his decision.
“He just doesn’t want to get messed over so he is going to be very, very careful, understanding that’s nothing is fully for sure but fairness,” the unnamed source said.
Whether Wisconsin would accept Zaire into the program remains to be seen, but the Badgers appear ready to roll with Alex Hornibrook, Karé Lyles, and Jack Coan for the time being. Any decision by Zaire to transfer to Wisconsin would be interesting, given reports from back in December that he was already leaning that way.
MADISON — Alex Hornibrook may have competition for his starting job next fall, but we won’t know that until at least April. That’s after it was reported Wednesday that Malik Zaire has pushed off making a decision on where he will transfer for his final season.
According to Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated, the former Notre Dame quarterback will continue to train in Arizona for the next few months before picking a school. It had been reported that Zaire was choosing between North Carolina and Wisconsin. Many thought the left-handed quarterback was waiting to see if potential first-round pick Mitch Trubisky would declare for the NFL draft or return for his senior season with the Tar Heels. Trubisky told reporters earlier this month that he would wait until after the Sun Bowl to make his announcement.
Sampson said Wisconsin was the favorite to land Zaire, but it’s unclear what impact delaying his decision will have on the Badgers interest in the former 4-star recruit. Heading into next season, Wisconsin will have a sophomore in Hornibrook, a redshirt freshman in Kare Lyles and a true freshman in Jack Coan making up the quarterback room.
In limited action over three seasons at Notre Dame, Zaire threw for 816 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions, while also adding 324 yards rushing.
MADISON, Wis. — Less than a week after visiting the two programs as potential graduate transfer destinations, Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire is reportedly narrowing down his choices to Wisconsin and North Carolina.
Notre Dame beat writer Tom Loy of 247 Sports reported yesterday that Zaire was leaning towards Wisconsin after getting the vibe from those within the Badger program that they were confident after Zaire’s visit last Wednesday. Prior to visits with Wisconsin and North Carolina, the Tar Heels were considered the front-runners.
In his brief opportunities with the Fighting Irish, Zaire threw for 816 yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He also rushed for 324 yards and two touchdowns.
It’s worth noting that Zaire’s girlfriend plays basketball at Minnesota and Wisconsin’s football schedule dictates that this year’s game with the Gophers would be played at TCF Bank Stadium.
MADISON, Wis. — Senior quarterback Malik Zaire has been granted his release from Notre Dame and will visit Wisconsin on Wednesday and North Carolina on Friday.
Zaire is looking for a new home to play out his final year of college eligibility and Wisconsin is on his list of potential schools. The arguments are strong for the Badgers to gain Zaire’s services, having turned Russell Wilson into one of the best quarterbacks in college football via graduate transfer. Wilson transferred from N.C. State where he was largely leaning towards a professional career in baseball. Then offensive coordinator, Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst was able to develop Wilson’s talents and lead Wilson and the Badgers to the Rose Bowl.
Zaire could follow a similar path, also possessing the ability to run the football. In 2014, Zaire was named the Music City Bowl MVP in his first career start. He’d go on to start the first two games of the 2015 season only to suffer a broken right ankle. He then split time with DeShone Kizer in this season’s opener against Texas, both ultimately lost the quarterback battle.
As a starter, Zaire leaves Notre Dame with a 3-0 record, 816 yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions, and 324 rushing yards with two touchdowns.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire is expected to meet with head coach Brian Kelly Wednesday to receive his release from the program. Since the Fighting Irish are not bowl-eligible, Zaire can begin his search for a graduate transfer program immediately.
According to Irish Illustrated, Zaire has named his top four choices for graduate school: Florida, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin.
The junior quarterback appeared in just eight games for the Irish this season after losing a spring battle with DeShone Kizer. Zaire completed 11-of-23 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown, while adding 34 yards rushing. His progress in the offseason was cut short due to a season-ending ankle fracture early in the 2015 campaign.
Zaire started just one game in the 2016 season, being used as a wide receiver. Coach Kelly once called Zaire one of the team’s best playmakers.