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QB Malik Zaire transferring from Notre Dame, reportedly granted unconditional release

The Fighting Irish QB will have suitors and plans to be eligible next season.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame career of quarterback Malik Zaire is coming to an end.

On Wednesday evening, ESPN reported that Zaire was granted an unconditional release, contrary to what was believed about his transfer conditions. The news comes after Zaire told ESPN on Wednesday afternoon that Notre Dame was granting him a conditional release, limiting him from going to any 2017 Notre Dame opponent except for North Carolina, he said.

One of the schools on Zaire’s list, via Irish Illustrated, Michigan State, who Notre Dame plays during its 2017 schedule. If this unconditional release is in place, Zaire will be able to transfer there if he so pleases.

Irish Illustrated has learned that Florida, Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Wisconsin are the primary contenders for Zaire. With Notre Dame’s season complete, Zaire won’t have the conflict of bowl practices to prevent visits to other programs during the coming weeks.

It’s still very early in the process for Zaire at this point. Florida, Pitt, and Wisconsin are all at different levels of deficient at QB, but would he be a fit in these offenses? Zaire’s game is best suited to being used like a Jalen Hurts-style running back who happens to be able to toss the deep ball.

Florida has been grasping at straws at the QB position since Tim Tebow left at the end of the 2009 season. They will carry three quarterbacks into the 2017 season currently on the roster, including this year’s initial starter Luke Del Rio. As well as any QBs UF can grab on the recruiting trail.

Zaire would likely run into a similar competition for the starting job at Wisconsin. Alex Hornibrook will return for the Badgers and has guided the team to a Big Ten West title. But he hasn’t exactly lit up box scores along the way. There’s also the fact that there may not be enough room for Zaire on the roster.

Pitt loses two senior QBs, and neither freshman QB the Panthers will enter 2017 with have ever played a meaningful snap. The Panthers had an elite offense this season under coordinator Matt Canada, even though it wasn’t one heavy on QB running. Pitt should be competitive in the ACC Coastal next year, and the Panthers don’t seem like a bad fit at all if Zaire can work well with Canada.