Last week we learned that Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire was granted his release and would be free to transfer for his fifth year of eligibility. Zaire’s story is well documented by now. He went to from a rising star to a backup quarterback. Zaire was dealt an unfortunate, some might argue unfair, hand, but he never stopped loving Notre Dame. In a letter he wrote to The Observer, Notre Dame’s student newspaper, Zaire described how thankful he was to attend Notre Dame.
“Dear Notre Dame students and staff,
My life changed for the better the moment I stepped onto the University of Notre Dame’s beautiful campus. The one goal I had set in my mind to achieve was to become a better man, a Notre Dame man. After growing through many trials and triumphs, the thing I’ve learned most from my experience was that if you don’t believe in yourself first, then no one else will. I believed in becoming a better man and succeeding through any circumstance, and I can say that I’ve truly accomplished that. I often refer to the famous quote from the movie “Catch Me If You Can” that was well put by Frank Abagnale:
“Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out.”
I’ve put my heart, soul and passion into the University, the football program, the South Bend community and the Irish community worldwide. I have the unbelievable honor to represent this University to the fullest as a student and soon-to-be alumni. Thank you to the amazing students and staff that I’ve met through the years for helping me grow into the person I’ve always wanted to be. I love the Irish and will always be an Irish alum no matter where I go! I look forward to keeping in touch. Let’s change the world!
For a guy who had every right to be upset with how his Notre Dame career panned out, this was a nice gesture from Zaire. It points to what type of a man he is. He was a great representation for the University and its fans. Zaire’s presence surely be missed next season. Hopefully we see more of him after his playing days are done. Zaire took his time to say thanks to us, but we should be the ones thanking him.
Thanks Malik! Good luck to you!