Former Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire sets timetable for grad transfer decision
Former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire has watched the spring games if teams he is interested in, and barring a sudden change, we should know his decision in May.
From what I was told on Tuesday morning, Zaire intends to finalize his decision within the next two weeks and will announce it after he graduates from Notre Dame. According to Notre Dame’s website, graduation ceremonies are May 19-21.
In addition, I was told a new school is in the mix.
Zaire is still considering Texas, Wisconsin and Florida, and the grad transfer quarterback has added Harvard to his short list. It remains unclear how serious Zaire is about playing Ivy League football. If he does go that route, Harvard would be his landing spot.
It is important to note the SEC could change a rule late next month that is currently prohibiting Zaire from attending Florida. An SEC rule instituted in Jan. 2016 prevents UF from taking Zaire because former grad transfer Mason Halter and Antony Harrell failed to meet academic requirements in 2015. However, that rule could be changed during spring meetings in late May.
The reason why Zaire is not rushing to a decision is because he wants to find the best landing spot. After losing his job to DeShone Kizer last season, Zaire does not want to hold a clipboard at a new school this season.
“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,” I was told.
Obviously, Texas quarterback Shane Buechele holds the top spot at Texas, with Shane Buechele as his backup. From what I was told, Buechele’s spring game performance - 369 yards on 23-of-39 passing, two touchdowns and one interception - was not discouraging to anyone in Zaire’s camp. Instead, they were encouraged to offensive coordinator Tim Beck’s offense.
In fact, if Zaire does land at Texas, it will be because of Beck.
When Zaire was a four-star high school prospect, Beck recruited him while at Nebraska. Zaire and Beck formed a close relationship during that process, and the quarterback nearly committed to Nebraska before deciding to attend Notre Dame. Now that Beck is at Texas, he has Zaire’s attention
“Texas is still a good option since he does know Beck,” I was told.
If Zaire feels comfortable with a school before his timetable, he could announce his decision before graduation. As of Tuesday morning, the plan is to wait a few more weeks.