Zaire Punches Ticket to Elite 11

After coming up short in his bid to earn an automatic spot to the Elite 11 quarterback camp at Ohio Dominican University last Friday, Malik Zaire learned he'll be joining the best-of-the-best in California for the finals.

Alter High School (Kettering, Ohio) quarterback and Notre Dame pledge Malik Zaire knew Friday afternoon he left a golden opportunity on the turf at Ohio Dominican University in his quest to make the Elite 11 quarterback finals this summer.

While Zaire was confident he had shown enough to earn a trip to the prestigious event, he knew he would have to wait and hear from organizers if he would be heading to the West Coast later this summer.

That call came earlier than he expected.

"I'm very excited right now," said Zaire. "Trent Dilfer called me two days ago and he just wanted to congratulate me and tell me what he liked about me.

"He told me I made the cut and stressed it's going to be a tough road going into it, but felt I could come out of it on top."

Now knowing he'll have a chance to prove himself in the finals, Zaire is looking to use his recent disappointment as motivation.

"I was kind of upset that I didn't win the Friday one," said Zaire. "But that's okay as it just gives me another opportunity to win it and win it big in California."

Zaire knows its a great personal achievement, but also that others helped him along the way.

"This means a lot and speaks for all the work I've put in," said Zaire. "But it also speaks of all the work I've put in with my teammates and other guys who have helped me get to this point.

The big stage is set for all the great quarterbacks to compete and it's such a great opportunity to show that I can be one of the top, if not the best quarterback in the country."

Zaire was also grateful for the support shown by his future coaches at Notre Dame.

"I spoke with coach (Brian) Kelly and (assistant) coach (Chuck) Martin and told them that I made it," said Zaire. "They were excited and coach Kelly and Martin said they knew I was going to make it. For them to feel that way and to have the confidence in me was pretty cool."


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