Former Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire picks Florida in transfer

By Alex Butler   |   June 4, 2017 at 9:54 AM
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June 4 (UPI) -- Quarterback Malik Zaire has chosen to play football for the Florida Gators as a graduate transfer.

The former Notre Dame gunslinger announced the decision on Saturday night. Fox Sports was first to report the news.

"You just want to be able to be a part of something special," Zaire told 247Sports. "You're playing in basically like a minor league from The League. 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."

Zaire was choosing between Florida, Texas, Wisconsin and North Carolina. The 22-year-old completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 816 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions in 15 games for the Irish. He also had 324 rushing yards and two scores.

On Friday the SEC changed its graduate transfer rule. The conference's old rule banned teams from adding the new transfers if other previous grad transfers failed to meet academic requirements at their new school during the previous three years. Florida had two recent grad transfers that failed to achieve the academic benchmarks.

Zaire was given a release from his Notre Dame scholarship in November. The release was unconditional.

He is expected to compete with Luke Del Rio and Feleipe Franks for the starting quarterback job. Zaire will travel to Gainesville on Wednesday, according to Fox Sports.

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