The Notre Dame Fighting Irish opened up the 2015 season with a near-flawless victory against the traditional powerhouse Texas Longhorns. In the 38-3 beat down of Texas, many leaders emerged on both offense and defense for the Irish. One of those leaders is redshirt sophomore quarterback, Malik Zaire. For the first time since Brady Quinn in 2006, the Irish finally have a true leader at quarterback that commands the respect of his teammates. The dual-threat quarterback plays with a fire inside, and he has more athletic ability than any Irish quarterback in recent history.
Zaire opened up the 2015 campaign with arguably the best debut as a starting quarterback in Notre Dame’s stadium in Notre Dame history. In his first two career starts, Malik has gone 31/37 for 409 yards, four passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown. The most important stat, however: zero turnovers. Zaire is taking over quarterback responsibilities for former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, who turned the ball over 22 times in 2014, including four interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
With Zaire taking over the reins, the Irish have a new look on offense, and many returning dangerous weapons. With the talent, experience, and confidence in the weapons around him, Zaire doesn’t have to be a superhero on the field to be successful. Although he is already putting up superhero numbers, as long as he is able to execute the little things and focus on what he can control, the sky is the limit for Zaire. If he can stay healthy, trust the talent around him and take care of the football, he can develop into one of the best quarterbacks in the country in 2015.
Becoming the first starting left-handed quarterback in Notre Dame history, Zaire has the skill and confidence to do something special this year. It’ll be exciting to see how good a Brian Kelly Irish team will be with a team that finally has depth, skill, confidence and a true leader at quarterback.