Former Notre Dame quarterback and current graduate transfer prospect Malik Zaire has college football programs clamoring at a shot to recruit him. Zaire, a mobile offensive weapon, announced he’d narrowed his final decision to either North Carolina or Wisconsin, with Florida looming in the background as a potential third option.
Zaire has announced he won’t announce his final decision until April, but many think his skill set fits best at Wisconsin. As an athletic and versatile QB, the immediate comparison is to Badger alum Russell Wilson, but that’s too idealistic. Because of consistent injury issues, Zaire has only appeared in 15 games total since 2014. Even further, in the games he has played in, he’s been fairly inconsistent.
Florida has emerged lately as another landing point for Zaire, but at face value seems unlikely. Pete Sampson with irishillustrated.com explains the administrative barrier standing between Zaire and the Gators: “The Gators reportedly cannot take a graduate transfer due to missed academic requirements of past ones, but SEC commissioner Greg Sankey told reporters during the SEC Championship Game weekend that the league could change its stance.”
If the league stands firm, it likely comes down to UNC or Wisconsin.
However, former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris announced March 26 that he has committed to UNC for the 2017 season.
This has huge implications on Zaire’s final decision, given that this more or less erases Chapel Hill as a viable option. Zaire will still wait until April to announce his decision as he trains in Arizona, but this bodes well for the Badgers’ hopes in landing the stud QB.
On Monday, it was reported that the Texas Longhorns have reached out to Zaire as well. Texas already has some deep competition at quarterback, but the report still maintained that Wisconsin and Florida (if allowed) are the frontrunners to land Zaire.
The Badgers have already shown commitment to Alex Hornibrook as the starter this season, but one would have to think Zaire would be promised the starting job if he chose to come to Wisconsin.