football Edit

What would be the pros and cons of Florida adding Malik Zaire?




Notre Dame graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire
Notre Dame graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire (USA Today Sports Images)

After spring ball, Florida’s offseason quarterback competition gained a little bit of clarity when head coach Jim McElwain admitted that Feleipe Franks was ahead of Kyle Trask and had gained some separation in the battle.

However, a big question – one that may not be answered for possibly another month – still lingers: Will Florida add Notre Dame graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire to the mix this offseason?

In recent months, both Florida and Zaire have been linked to one another, with both sides reportedly having mutual interest. Still, at this current time the Gators cannot add a graduate transfer on scholarship, due to an SEC rule.

After graduate transfers Mason Halter and Anthony Harrell failed to complete their academic requirements in 2015, the league restricted Florida from taking any graduate transfers for a period of three years. That rule, though, could be overturned at the SEC’s spring meetings in late May, clearing a path for Zaire to potentially join the Gators.

Back in December – and recently in a radio appearance on the Pat Dooley Show – SEC commissioner Greg Sankey mentioned that the league’s graduate transfer rule would be discussed at the spring meetings in Destin, Florida.

Texas, Wisconsin and Harvard are also in the hunt for Zaire’s services, as he’s one of the most coveted graduate transfers left on the market. The interest in Florida, though, appears to be there, as Zaire has recently followed more than 20 current Gators on his Instagram account.

It's also worth noting that Zaire may be in the mix for more than one season wherever he lands, as he reportedly could pursue another season of eligibility through an appeal to the NCAA after playing just two games in 2015 due to his season-ending ankle injury.

If the Gators did happen to pull off adding Zaire, it would be the third time in three years under McElwain that Florida would add a transfer to the quarterback position, after Luke Del Rio joined the fray in 2015 and Austin Appleby transferred to UF in 2016.

Now, Inside the Gators examines the pros and cons of Florida adding a graduate transfer quarterback like Zaire – if the move happens to come into fruition.


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