If you thought Everett Golson was going to simply return to the practice field and be given back the starting quarterback job, Malik Zaire would like to remind you he is worthy of the job as well.
”Without a doubt. There will only be one guy starting on August 30th against Rice at Notre Dame Stadium, there will only be one guy out on the field, and I believe that will be me,” Zaire said, according to the Associated Press.
Zaire was a four-star dual-threat quarterback according to Rivals, and he is expected to bring many of the abilities to the offense that Golson was able to do during Notre Dame’s undefeated regular season in 2012. Golson missed the 2013 season in South Bend due to an academic issue. He has since returned to Notre Dame and was thought by many to be a lock to return to his starting role. Perhaps that will eventually turn out to be the case anyway, but Zaire is certainly not lacking in confidence. While sure of himself, Zaire also knows unseating Golson as the starter is going to require some hard work.
”It’s always going to be an uphill battle dealing with a guy who’s been there and done that with the game experience, it’s always going to be an uphill battle,” Zaire said.
This could make for quite the storyline leading up to the 2014 season for the Fighting Irish, and head coach Brian Kelly is in no rush to make a call on who will lead his offense in the fall.
”It’s always about finding that consistency at that position,” Kelly said. “It’s just going to take some time. I don’t have a timetable on it. I’ll know when it’s running the right way and it’s smooth. It’s not there yet.”
Kelly has no reason to make a call now. Golson does need to prove himself once again after a year away from the field, and he needs to show he can handle the responsibilities of being a leader without it interfering off the field as well. Zaire has promise, and competing for the starting job now may not result in a starting job just yet, but the competitive experience will serve him well moving forward as well.