There won’t be any confusion when someone in the Texas locker room calls out the name “Malik” this fall.
The saga of former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire’s graduate transfer destination came to an end when Zaire told multiple media outlets he will attend Florida. The announcement came after the Southeastern Conference presidents and chancellors voted to change the league’s graduate transfer policy.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 4, 2017
Previously, SEC schools whose grad transfers did not acquire all of their APR points were not allowed to accept more grad transfers for a three-year period. Friday’s ruling lowered that penalty to one year.
The Gators were in violation of the policy after Mason Halter and Anthony Farrell failed to meet their academic requirements in 2015.
Zaire’s decision seemingly ends what has been a fruitless search for quarterback depth by Texas coach Tom Herman. The Longhorns also pursued former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris, who wound up choosing North Carolina. Louisville’s Kyle Bolin thanked Texas after choosing Rutgers.
They also missed out on Arizona transfer Anu Solomon — now at Baylor — although Solomon said he never heard from Texas.
Zaire was this year’s most high-profile grad transfer, with Florida, Texas, Wisconsin reportedly in the mix along with Harvard. Zaire started the first two games of 2015 for Notre Dame — including the season opener against Texas — before breaking his ankle at Virginia. He shared snaps with Deshone Kizer against the Longhorns last fall, but Kizer seized the job with his performance in that game.
Assuming it doesn’t land a late grad transfer, Texas will enter the 2017 season with only two scholarship quarterbacks. Incumbent starter Shane Buechele is expected to maintain that role ahead of true freshman Sam Ehlinger, but Herman declined to name a starter following spring practice.
One thing is certain: At least for now, star linebacker Malik Jefferson remains the only Malik on the Longhorns’ 2017 roster. Unfortunately, he doesn’t play quarterback.
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