Zaire Talks Visit and Pledge to Irish

Zaire Talks Visit and Pledge to Irish

After making the call to the Notre Dame coaching staff about his intentions to pledge Irish, Malik Zaire spoke with IrishEyes.com about his commitment to Notre Dame.

After spending Saturday touring Notre Dame with his mother, Kettering (OH) Alter quarterback Malik Zaire had seen enough and called the Irish giving his pledge.

"I'm doing good as I just spoke with the coaches and committed a few minutes ago," Zaire said. "I definitely fell in love with Notre Dame when I got up there and had a chance to see everything. It was pretty cool."

Zaire didn't waste much time in making his decision.

"We came back last night as we went up on Friday and stayed the night," Zaire explained. "Saturday we visited and saw everything there was to see. I got a good look at everything while also spending a lot of time with Coach (Brian) Kelly.

"Saturday morning we had breakfast and met with all of the coaches. Then I met with Coach Kelly early in the morning as I was the first guy he wanted to see out of all of the recruits.

"We just had a nice conversation and he believes I can come in and start but stressed I'll have to compete for it as always. He said I'll have to learn the offense well and explained Notre Dame is not only about football but also for academics."

Zaire came away from his conversation with a greater grasp on what his future could be like from his talk with the Irish head coach.

"A degree from Notre Dame is a great insurance policy for later in life," said Zaire. "It really hit me that my decision was not a four year decision but a forty year decision.

"I think that is what definitely got to me as you can have a degree from Notre Dame and it is something special."

During his tour of campus, Zaire came away with a feeling that was still with him on Sunday afternoon.

"When we toured campus I could see Notre Dame is a lot like my high school," said Zaire. "Only it is times two or as my mother said, it's Alter on steroids because they share the same kind of values and structure Alter has.

"Notre Dame has a Catholic base and is the kind of school I currently go to. I came away feeling like I really fit in there with how beautiful the campus is and how organized everything is there. I got the feeling of being at home from it."

Aside from the challenges Zaire feels he'll face academically, he also learned a lot from watching practice.

"I definitely love how they ran their practice," he said. "They run a lot of similar things on offense as we run and the terminology is about the same. I also loved the drills Coach Kelly has the quarterbacks doing and how intense he is as I know he'll really get after you. I think that is something that will push me to get better and be motivated to compete even harder.

"I know this is going to be a challenge as I'll be going into college and competing against three or four guys. However, at the same time I didn't look at anything I feel I couldn't beat it. I know it's early but it didn't look like anything that was too special or something I would have to wait a year for.

"I also believe Coach Kelly believes in me a lot and I'll be given a chance to come in and show them what I have."

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