Ex-Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire close to making his transfer decision

ByTom VanHaaren ESPN logo
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Former Notre Damequarterback Malik Zaire is nearing a decision as to where his next destination will be as a fifth-year graduate transfer, he said Thursday.

Zaire was originally planning to have a decision made by now, but pushed it back until after his graduation ceremony May 28.

He has visited Wisconsinand North Carolinasince he decided to transfer, and he also mentionedTexasand Floridaas possible landing spots. Now that spring practices are over and summer is approaching, Zaire wants to get the decision done.

"As soon as possible," he said about when the announcement will come. "I want to get in before fall camp and before school starts so I can be around the guys and get rolling on those relationships."

North Carolina took former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris as a grad transfer, so that may influence his choice. There is no issue with Wisconsin or Texas, but there is a hang-up if Florida is his final choice.

The Gators are currently in the second year of a three-year penalty for taking grad transfers who ultimately did not meet academic requirements.

That penalty precludes the staff from taking a grad transfer until 2018, which means that Zaire would not be able to consider Florida as his school with only one year of eligibility remaining. That penalty -- and the punishment it brings -- is being voted on at the SEC meetings on Friday and could clear a path for Zaire to enroll at Florida.

The rule itself has drawn some backlash at the meetings from SEC coaches, including Florida head coach Jim McElwain.

"I'll probably say -- like I do with all the rules -- if we have rules in the Southeastern Conference that are different than the other conferences that we're playing against or we're competing against," McElwain said. "You know, I don't know what we're trying to prove there. ... But at the same time, we've got a ton of guys calling us every year that are graduates."

Zaire's decision seemingly won't come before the vote, so he should have a clear picture of all his possible choices once he is ready to pick his school. Once that happens, Zaire is going in with a new outlook and hoping for a successful outcome.

"I'm going in to win a championship," Zaire said. "That's the whole goal."