Late last night, former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire announced he would transfer to the University of Florida, and spend his final year of eligibility as a Gator. I couldn’t be more excited.
Yes, we have four other quarterbacks on the roster (Jake Allen, Felipe Franks, Luke del Rio, Kyle Trask), and Kadarius Toney is also vying for the starting job. But with our quarterback troubles as of late, I think adding one more is a smart move. In 2015, after a 5-0 start, Will Grier was suspended for PEDs, and our offensive production plummeted. We no longer had the ability to successfully move the ball down the field, and as a result, we lost our undefeated season and lost four of our next eight games, including a 27-2 loss to FSU and a 41-7 loss to Michigan in the Citrus Bowl. Last season, after Luke del Rio was injured in the North Texas game, we were again forced to turn to a back-up. Austin Appleby played well, but we still lost our last three games. Adding one more quarterback gives us one more option, should we face a similar type of adversity in the 2017 season.
He also brings experience to our roster, something you can never have too much of. The knowledge and experience he and del Rio have will only help our offense, especially if our starter ends up being someone who hasn’t started a college football game before. There’s also the fact that, since he is a senior, he can be a leader. If we want to have a successful season, we must have guys step up and lead the team. He could be one of those guys, and that could have a major impact on the outcome of our season.
Here’s the bottom line. We haven’t had success at the quarterback position since Tim Tebow graduated. If we want to be a dominant force in college football, take down the Tide, and be back in the playoff conversation, successful quarterback play must be there. While Zaire may not be our answer, he could be one piece of the puzzle.
What are your thoughts on Malik Zaire coming to UF? Let me know in the comments!