HT – WT – SPEED: At 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, Malik Zaire has the size to run Brian Kelly's spread attack. While not known for his overall speed, Zaire has shown the ability to escape the pocket and make big plays when needed.
QUICKNESS – AGILITY - BALANCE: Zaire has great quickness and has shown on film and in live evaluations the ability to control his body and movement skills.
STRENGTH: With a solid frame Zaire has above average strength to go with recoil making him explosive and powerful.
BODY FLEXIBILITY: Each time I've seen Zaire live he surprises me with his overall flexibility. He knows his body well and is able to use this as an advantage to make big plays.
ON THE FIELD
The first time we saw Zaire was during his sophomore year when he was a fulltime backup at Alter and took limited reps. However, there was a sense he was a player to watch despite the fact he was playing in a wish-bone heavy offense.
Prior to his junior campaign Zaire started showing the ability to throw the ball and showed off his arm during preseason scrimmages. The fact his high school coaches stayed with their running attack also allowed Zaire to show his willingness to be a team player and leader as he stayed the course and helped his team to a 10-1 season.
There are a couple of areas Zaire's improved upon over the past two seasons as he's become more polished in his drops and getting set up quicker.
When throwing the ball he shows great zip with a tight spiral and can make all the throws needed for the next level. One area Zaire will need to continue improvement in is his touch and accuracy.
In the Irish offense Zaire will be able to use his ability to rollout to either side or extent a play until he's forced to throw or run.
While some may look for a quarterback who is taller, Zaire brings a solid skill set that fits in the Irish offensive system. Leadership is already being shown as he teams with a couple of other Irish pledges in keeping in touch with several members of the class and by reaching out to those still considering the Irish.
Pulling a player of Zaire's quality out of Ohio is also a plus and continues a trend Kelly and his staff have worked on since arriving on campus.