It's now official-the coaching staff is on fire. Coach Brian Kelly received his 7th verbal commitment for the 2013 class today from QB Malik Zaire (Kettering, OH - Archbishop Alter). Zaire is the 4th player to give his pledge following Junior Day and is listed at 6'1" and 185 lbs.
Zaire chose the Irish over offers from programs such as Alabama, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - Not Yet Rated (ESPNU 150 Watch List)
Rivals - 4 star (#7 QB), 5.8 Grade (#136 Overall)
Scout - 4 star (#13 QB)
247Sports - 4 star (#6 OH, #4 Dual-threat QB), 94 Grade (#117 Overall)
Highlights after the jump.
2011 Malik Zaire Season Highlights (via SuttmanRecruitment)
Malik will join a crowded QB situation in the fall of 2013, so it is likely that he sits out the year, runs the scout team and learns the system. Call it the Golson System. Additionally, I would like to see get up to around 210 lbs to survive the beating at the QB position at the collegiate level.
It's difficult for a dual-threat, left handed QB to escape comparisons to Michael Vick. I will try to avoid that one at all costs here.
Zaire shows some excellent escape-ability in his highlight film while keeping his eyes constantly downfield. He has a very live arm that allows him to thread the needle when required, but also showed some great touch on passes, dropping several in over the top of coverage.
The one biggest thing that I saw that he will need to work on is his footwork. He showed some happy feet in the pocket, but to his credit, he didn't take off running at the first sign of pressure. I think he will be a phenomenal fit at the QB position in Kelly's offense. The sky is the limit him.
I leave you with a Twitter double-dip to close out this busy Junior Day weekend:
Zaire on competition: Anywhere you go in college you're going to have to compete for a job.— Bob Wieneke (@bobwienekeisr) March 25, 2012
Newly ND committed QB Malik Zaire: I just think it was one of those special opportunities you can't pass up.— Bob Wieneke (@bobwienekeisr) March 25, 2012
Welcome to Notre Dame Malik!