With the ongoing game of “Where Will Malik Zaire Land?” lingering into its sixth month, there’s yet another sign pointing to an SEC school being the beneficiaries of the quarterback’s services. Maybe.
In the months since Zaire was given an unconditional release from his Notre Dame scholarship last November, and after North Carolina and Baylor and Wisconsin were bandied about, Florida and Texas have seemingly emerged as the favorites to land the graduate transfer. Tuesday, Bruce Feldman of FOXSports.com further confirmed that Zaire is leaning toward the Gators, albeit with one big proviso.
Heard from sources close to #ND transfer Malik Zaire he’s leaning towards UF & is waiting to see if SEC amends rule clearing him to go to UF
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) May 30, 2017
And therein lies the rub.
Because of an SEC rule put in place a couple of years ago, UF is currently unable to add a graduate transfer like Zaire because two previous graduate transfers (former Georgia Tech linebacker Anthony Harrell and former Fordham offensive lineman Mason Halter) failed to meet the academic requirements after transferring into the football program. Because of those twin academic failures, UF is not permitted to add a grad transfer until after the 2018 season.
The SEC’s annual spring meetings are in Destin, Fla., this week, and one of the items on the conference’s agenda is looking into the possibility of amending the grad transfer rule. It has previously been reported that Zaire had pushed back his decision until after the SEC spring meetings, a clear indication that the one-time Fighting Irish starter is giving serious consideration to finishing out his collegiate playing career with the Gators.
Now, along with the rest of the college football world, Zaire will await the SEC’s direction to determine whether or not The Swamp is a part of his future.