On Saturday night, Notre Dame officials confirmed that Everett Golson is no longer enrolled at the university. Rumors have spread across the internet about “academic issues” with several articles specifically citing plagerism as the cause for Golson’s dismissal. Numerous reports have also linked starting WR Davaris Daniels to similiar “academic issues”, but these allegations have not been confirmed by the university. The loss of Golson leaves Irish fans flabergasted about the direction of their football team. But Irish fans need not worry, because salvation lies only a short way down the depth chart.
QB Malik Zaire committed early to the Irish’s 2013 class and coined the term the “Irish Mob”. Zaire was a dual threat quarterback at Archbishop Alter High School whose stock only continued to rise after his commitment to the Irish. During his senior and junior years Zaire rushed for over 1,000 yards and passed for over 800 yards throwing only two interceptions his senior year leading Archbishop to a 10-1 season. After spending the summer dominating the Nike and Elite 11 football camps, Zaire turned his attention to recruiting other four and five star recruits to Notre Dame. Zaire believed in Kelly well before the undefeated 2012 season and he knew that if the recruits came they could accomplish something special.
Since enrolling early, Zaire has traveled to Arizona where he spent time working out with TJ Jones, KeiVarae Russell, Davaris Daniels and other players to prepare for the spring practice. During spring practice Zaire impressed Kelly and Chuck Martin as well as his teammates. Both coaches praised Zaire’s work ethic and leadership, and openly stated that Zaire had better footwork and decision making than Golson.
With Golson gone, Zaire’s time is now. I know Zaire has only 6 months in the program, but Golson only had a year under Kelly’s tutelage and look at what he accomplished. I know everyone wishes Gunner Kiel had stayed, but Golson proved that the offense needs a mobile quarterback to make plays and improvise with his legs. Obviously Zaire will make mistakes, but Kelly can use Tommy Rees as a reliable middle reliever or closer if Zaire struggles, the same way Rees helped lead Golson through the tough spots. Kelly and Martin want a dynamic offense where the quarterback can challenge defenses with his legs and arm. Zaire won’t be perfect, but he is the future of the program, and he has already proven his dedication, athleticism and intelligence. Now let’s see what he can do.