Malik Zaire is the 2017 wild card for Florida, as the former Notre Dame quarterback transfer tries and fix what has ailed the Gators on offense the past few years. With his arrival in Gainesville, many consider him the favorite to win the starting job under center.
ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill isn’t buying the hype.
“I don’t think Zaire has any chance of being the quarterback there,” Luginbill told JOX FM in Birmingham, Ala.
Strong words considering the down competition that Zaire faces, with redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks being the closest competitor. Many have already penciled in Zaire’s name for the opener against Michigan on Sept. 2, but Luginbill is bewildered by it.
“I’m shocked by that move. I don’t understand it. There’s not a fit. It’s not an easy offense to learn in three weeks.”
Luginbill might have a point, though, as Zaire was beat out for the starting quarterback job the last three season in South Bend, including by DeShone Kizer last season on a team that went 4-8.
The race to become the Gators starter will be front and center during fall camp. Will Zaire become the man the Gators think he can be, or will Luginbill be correct? Either way, it will be an interesting August in Gainesville.