Following a spring riddled with questions over who will be leading Florida’s offense in 2017, the Gators’ situation under center got even murkier this weekend.
Former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire confirmed to multiple media outlets on Saturday that he plans to join UF’s football program as a graduate transfer this upcoming season.
Zaire has one year of eligibility remaining as a redshirt junior and will be available to play immediately.
He appeared in 17 games and made three starts over his career with the Fighting Irish, completing 58-of-98 passes and throwing six touchdowns with no interceptions.
Zaire will visit UF’s campus on Wednesday where he hopes to finalize the graduate transfer process, according to ESPN.
“It’s just everything really solidifying things,” Zaire said to ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren. “Making sure it feels how I know it would be of making it a home. If everything goes as planned, I’m a Gator, but of course the visit is important to take everything in.”
Florida still needs to settle an academic issue with the former Notre Dame quarterback before officially announcing his transfer, according to ESPN.
Zaire is expected to compete for the starting job along with Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and Luke Del Rio.
With Del Rio unable to participate in the spring due to shoulder surgery, Franks and Trask emerged as the two frontrunners to win the role.
Franks then outperformed Trask in Florida’s spring game on April 7, leading coach Jim McElwain to admit the redshirt freshman was “ahead” in the starting quarterback battle.
But with Zaire now in the mix, the Gators have another credible option under center.
UF has exactly 89 days to decide who will lead its offense before it heads to Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 2 to face Michigan in its regular season opener.
Contact Dylan Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @dylanrdixon.
Malik Zaire passes during Notre Dame’s 38-3 win against Texas on Sept. 5, 2015. Zaire is expected to transfer to UF this week.