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Quarterback Malik Zaire commits to the Irish

Mar 25, 2012, 10:36 PM EDT

Malik Zaire

It was the Junior Day that wouldn’t stop giving. With the commitment of offensive linemen Hunter Bivin, Colin McGovern, and Mike McGlinchey, Irish fans already could chalk up the weekend as a win. But the addition of blue-chip, dual-threat quarterback Malik Zaire from Kettering, Ohio, solidifies the Irish at quarterback and turns the past 48 hours into one of the more entertaining offseason weekends in recent memory.

With Notre Dame looking to add a signal caller to the 2013 recruiting class, Zaire decided to pull the trigger this weekend, riding the emotions that came with a perfect visit to South Bend. With options like Alabama, Ohio State, Arizona, Nebraska, and Wisconsin among others, Zaire might as well have read from a manual when naming the reasons while Notre Dame was the perfect fit.

Christian McCollum of got the winning quote out of Zaire, who might have just won recruiting bingo with this textbook response.

“I think the school sets you up, not just for a four-year plan, but for a 40-year plan,” Zaire told ISD. “It can take you far in life and help you be very successful once sports are over.

“I think that’s something everybody should look at in recruiting, a place that can set you up for life after sports and somewhere you would love to be not playing sports. I think if you look at it from that aspect, you’ll definitely find the place that you want to be.”

If that quote wasn’t enough to endear Zaire to Irish fans everywhere, he discussed choosing head coach Brian Kelly and the Irish over Urban Meyer and Ohio State, a shocking turn of events, with just about every recruitnik figuring Zaire a perfect replacement for current Buckeye Braxton Miller.

Pete Sampson of got this winning quote out of Zaire.

“Growing up here you’re definitely born to be an Ohio State fan,” Zaire told IrishIllustrated. “At the same time, I wanted to look at where I’d want to go to school without football. I could have gone to Ohio State, been a hometown hero and that would have been great. I had a great relationship with Coach Tressel. When Coach Meyer got there we had a good one-on-one relationship too. I don’t want to say I shied away, but I lost interest when they offered like seven or eight other quarterbacks in a one or two week span. That turned me off a little.”

(If Zaire can read defenses as well as crafty coaches in Columbus, he’s on his way to a fantastic career.)

A quick look at Zaire’s highlights show a left-hander that looks comfortable throwing from the pocket, but also has plenty of athleticism to get away from pressure. Zaire looks downright polished back to pass, showing good accuracy and the ability to read coverages, keeping his eyes down field when checking between receivers. On the hoof, Zaire looked really impressive, a capable option trigger man that also looked like one of the fastest guys on the field when he hit the open field.

The pledge of Zaire closes down the quarterback position for the Irish and leaves quite a few teams reassessing their No. 1 target. Zaire’s high school highlight tape is probably the most proficient in terms of option principles of anyone on the Irish depth chart, which is incredibly impressive when you combine it with his passing accuracy.

Zaire’s commitment make seven for the class of 2013.


  1. mtflsmitty - Mar 26, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    This is what we’ll continue to get with BK. Was thinking about the crazy 2012 schedule and that some will start calling for his head with another five loss season. But I say we stay the course, even if 2012 doesn’t give us the record we’d like. Coach is building a program here. And unlike CW’s teams which were built to be flashes in the pan, BK’s team is more of a program that continues to develop depth, elite talent, and teams to compete at the highest level over the long haul. Five losses in 2012? Maybe. But a tad more sane schedule in 2013 and beyond, and we’ll be a 1-2 loss team for the next decade. A lot to be positive about.

    • 1historian - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      I agree with you to an extent – I don’t see another 5 loss season. This team has too much talent, and I’ve been saying all along that there has to be a turnaround game, a signature game, when we beat someone we’re NOT supposed to beat. I’d like to see Michigan bite the dust, I’d LOVE to see Stanford go down, I would be ecstatic to see USC go down, and that’s always nicer when it happens in LaLa land.

      I think this team is one BIG play, one BIG game, from getting back its swagger.

      And by the way – let’s just forget about the California cousins.

      • nudeman2point0 - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        I think the obvious upcoming signature win is Michigan
        They get them at home this year and I’m sure the Irish well remember the pain of the 2011 loss

        BTW, this Zaire kid looks great. If I didn’t know better I’d say “Looks like M Vick’s HS highlights with a better throwing motion”

      • ndirish10 - Mar 26, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        It sure was on a rainy November night (11/27/10). I was fortunate enough to attend the game (some might say lucky because the ND-sc L.A. game falls on my wedding anniversary weekend).

      • domer77blowsgoats - Mar 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        I have sat idly by waiting for some actual news to comment on and this weekend was BIG

        1. Stole one from Rural
        2. Massive o-line recruits
        3. Finally hitting some pads
        4. It has to be EG with all these weapons

        Now comments to others comments:

        1. Nude you are deadright on TR unless major improvement – however the term “rising” has been used for decades – a woeful oversight
        2. Keith – a ridiculous TR assessment based on day 3 of spring ball
        3. A signature win is not a win over Michigan at home unless they are #1 or #2 – especially against a team you have beaten for 179 out of the last180 minutes
        4. A signature win is a 3 touchdown smackdown of OU in THEIR backyard

        The comment police is ok exception as expected its wildly inconsistant application – example –

        Nude does not like TR, 18 posts the last 24 hours stating such = very annoyed Jim Rome = deletion of comment… just saying

      • nudeman2point0 - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        I agree with virtually everything you write here son. And yes, I was wrong on “rising”.
        However, on the TR thing, I didn’t initiate it but was responding to what Keith wrote about the offense being “just fine” if he throws a better deep ball.
        That is a preposterously indefensible observation that absolutely no one agrees with.

        Having said that, I’ll move on from TR, barring further developments.

  2. smurphdoggy29 - Mar 26, 2012 at 1:03 AM


    Just stopping by to say, “Stay cool Irish Faithful”

  3. kiopta1 - Mar 26, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Great stuff the last few weeks but I will wait till they sign before I get excited about recruits….this last class left be a little sour.

  4. bernhtp - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Very impressive highlight video, both from the perspective of Zaire’s performance and the video quality. After seeing so many crappy-quality videos, this one is refreshing.

    He has a big arm and nice touch. Coaches can work on tightening up his motion a bit. He is definitely a big talent.

  5. leapingleprechaun - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    I would have to say that this was a pretty good weekend for The Irish and this may lend some momentum to get over the sting of Greenberry and Darby….Not that concerned about Tee since he had not played in over two years…I do believe Kelly is building depth and speed to move forward with this program…looking forward to seeing how this team gells in the coming months as well as how the coaches integrate to the new responsibilities…Only concern here is most coaches are from MAC or Grand Valley State….not alot of ‘big time’ presence here….that Big time presence often lends itself to attitude…!

  6. sullyp18 - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Watched the video, he looks really good. Strong arm, can move in the pocket, and showed good touch on the ball. I think its an interesting get for the Irish, looking at the last three QBs that they have I wonder if they are going to be playing 2 QBs per game. You have Gunner who is obviously build for pro ball and Zaire/Golson more of your dual threat spread offense QBs. What I want to know if there is any chance this kid plays any other positions? I like what I saw, GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!

  7. alwayssunnyinsouthbend - Mar 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Great Weekend for the Irish. Zaire looks like a stud, and 6’9″ 280 lbs lineman will look even better in front of him.

  8. nudeman2point0 - Mar 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    “Interesting” article I ran across on why TR should be the starter.

    About all I can say in its favor is it’s well written.
    Needless to say I disagree with 99% of his case, and based on the comments on the 4Horsemen Lounge, so does everyone else who read it.
    But hey … read and see what you think.

    For me, the writer lost credibility early on when he said Rees is a good “game manager”. WTF?
    Turning the ball over once per quarter is a “good game manager”?

    • irishbornraised - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      wow, the message boards rules won’t allow me to say what my original impressions of the writer were. But towards the end he had solid points, both about how QBs show their biggest improvements between their sophomore and junior seasons, and how good programs play QBs with at least two years under their belts. They talked about how USC dominated the 2000s because every one of their QBs didn’t start until they were RS Sophomores or Juniors, and then when Sanchez went to the NFL and Barkley the former 5star had to step in, they had their worst season since 2000. Scary stuff

      • irishbornraised - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        Nevermind, just remember AH is a junior just like TR

  9. kiopta1 - Mar 26, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I am hearing good things from EG but why is everyone begging for him to start as if he led us to a BCS bowl game?

  10. ccad05 - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Is anyone still on the Tommy train? I still stand by my comment a few days ago that he will be a transfer by the end of December. If that long. But, who knows? Maybe he will be content as the number four

    • domer77blowsgoats - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Why would he transfer?

      The is a 0% chance he will transfer. Even if #4.

      Players transfer to get more PT in hopes of making it to Sunday, TR has no delusions about playing on Sunday.

      So give up an ND education for what? This year he will be one injury away from starting as you can’t replace his game experience in one season – after this season he is a RISING senior – so transfer for one year? BRILLIANT!

      And don’t play the DC just did to Kansas card – he has a very legit chance to make it to Sunday…

      He is far more than “content” given he was an ND starting QB and is receiving one of the best educations in the world – if we could all only be so “content”

      • nudeman2point0 - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        Why don’t you change your name? Maybe drop the “blows” word
        Just a suggestion

      • nudeman2point0 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        I have maintained all along he won’t x-fer for the exact reasons you mention.
        He seems to understand that his 4 years at ND are more about an education than football.
        However after this season, SOMEONE will.
        Zaire – who looks outstanding, makes 5 QBs. I don’t know any program that carries 5 scholarship QBs.

  11. barneysbullet - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Malik Zaire, come on down!!!

  12. ccad05 - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    It’s called a prediction. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Why so offended? It’s no different than you saying theyre going to be 8-4. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. As far as the DC card, you went there not me. Dayne didn’t get a fair shot last season for whatever reason. Sorry Tommy your favorite but the truth is hes the number three this year and the number four next spring. Just because you have an opinion doesn’t make the rest of the world wrong.

    • domer77blowsgoats - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      not offended at all – just shooting the shiot and asking “why” about a prediction lacking support- I did say 8-4 for the following:

      1. QB uncertainty
      2. Brutal Schedule – Losses at OU and USC
      3. Until proven otherwise, minimum of one heartbreak loss to lesser opponent
      4. Another game lost do to lack of redzone prodcution vs. MSU/UM/SU

      So when I read ” I still stand by my comment a few days ago that he will be a transfer by the end of December” I asked “why” and gave my reasons as to “why not”

      there was nothing personal about it – must be the unseasonably warm weather causing the skin to thin a bit…

    • bernhtp - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Not offended, just bored and weary. You made the same prediction previously – without evidence or rationale – and it was blown apart by arguments you then failed to address, let alone refute. And now you repeat the prediction without acknowledging the other conversation.

      Also, when you respond to a post, click the Reply button for the item to which you are responding. This keeps it from going to the bottom of the blog – totally disconnected from the context – and making everyone even more bored and weary.

  13. uawlocal1136 - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:04 PM


    Start the week out on two positive notes. First, appreciate the ongoing and insightful reviews of spring ball. Look forward to them every day. Second, with the toned down version of this blog site, I for one, appreciate your best efforts to just slightly crawl under the skin of the new, improved nudeboy, although with the exception of the omnipresent “F” bombs, nothing has really changed. “TR this…TR that”…

    Go Irish! Tommy Rees for All American!!

    • dickasman - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:01 PM

      Unitedairlines, I firmly believe that you do not do your own typing but rather use nuance dragon speech software write your comments. There is just no way. I just talked to the cockroach in my basement and even he’s in agreement that Rees is not the way to go. The roach told me Rees is solid off the bench.

    • nudeman2point0 - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      Amazing how UAW and goat have been absent from this blog for a couple weeks and now they show up within minutes of each other.


      Not really

  14. seanb20124 - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    The pledge of Zaire closes down the quarterback position for the Irish.

    Verbal means like what? He might come, he might not?

    • dickasman - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      Which is why none of us is getting like totally thuper exthithed and thethuff yet.

  15. dickasman - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Guys, one thing I’ve learned is that really everyone on this board could do better is that we should be more concerned about ND does what others does because the f bombs starts flying otherwise. I have done my best to heed my own advice which is why I’ll ignore the auto worker’s comments.

    Urban does this and FSU does that, so what? Nude says this, dick says that, so what? worry about what you say. Don’t be a dorkface rat contacting Keith behind everyones back complaining about what this guy says, blah blah. You can say what the other person says. You have the same rights. Let him have his rights as well.

    I am not going to worry about who Ohio state got, who FSU got but rather focus on who nd’s getting. One thing I have noticed is that they seem to be going after better “person” profile vs. “star” profile. I can’t blame them after the dingletee fiasco.

    To those recruits that are reading this, understand this….there is nothing, I mean nothing greater in this world than education. Football is mean sport. Your brain will turn to mush after playing few years, not to mention your neck, shoulder, knees, elbows, wrists. Take it from a loserbag like me…I wish I had attended ND while I had the chance.

    • nudeman2point0 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      I see occasional references here to recruits reading this blog but zero evidence. Does it/could it happen? I suppose.

      But until someone tells me a recruit was specifically offended or elated by what he read here, I have to assume that IF they do read our stuff they’re capable of keeping it in perspective.

      As far as the reference by you and others to F-Bombs, I have not used one in months. But the nuclear stockpile still exists and in fact CAN be accessed at moment’s notice. I have the code.

      • domer77blowsgoats - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        you just used one in this very post!

        nudeman2point0 – Mar 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM
        For me, the writer lost credibility early on when he said Rees is a good “game manager”. WTF?

      • nudeman2point0 - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:57 PM

        Technically not an F Bomb.
        I realize your natural tendency is to get all upset and lash out any time you see something critical of your boy TR, but you’re overreacting here

        Verdict on F Bomb usage is “NOT GUILTY”


      • bernhtp - Mar 27, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        GoatBlower: I agree with Nude here; not guilty of the F bomb. Basic rule of thumb: if it can be on Leno, it’s OK.

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