Within the coming weeks, the Texas Longhorns quarterback room may or may not have found its graduate transfer and a quality option to push Shane Buechele for his starting next season, as a report from Orangeblood’s Anwar Richardson indicates the former Notre Dame signal-called Malik Zaire’s decision may come sooner than expected.
Was told Malik Zaire may announce his decision on May 19, before SEC meetings. That could eliminate UF, leaving Texas, Wisconsin & Harvard— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) May 5, 2017
As noted, if what Richardson is hearing holds true, the perceived favorite Florida Gators are likely left on the outside looking in, largely due to a factor outside of Zaire and the Gators’ control.
As it stands, SEC restrictions wouldn’t allow the Gators to even take Zaire and it was thought that both parties would wait for conference spring meetings on the matter to make any decision. That’s now seemingly no longer the case and either Texas, Wisconsin or Harvard will be adding to it’s quarterback room in the near future.
The Badgers appear to make the most sense here.
Wisconsin returns sophomore-to-be and partial starter Alex Hornibrook, whom split reps with senior Bart Houston in 2016. Hornibrook completed 106-of-181 passes for 1,262 yards with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions as a freshman. Zaire would likely win the starting job in Madison with relative ease.
The same can be said for Harvard, which loses senior Joe Viviano III, but the Crimson can’t offer the weekly exposure of playing on national television that Zaire may seek during his final collegiate season.
In Austin, on the other hand, it’s quite possible Zaire wouldn’t be able to unseat returning starter Shane Buechele, whom broke numerous school records as a true freshman in 2016. Beuchele then looked like a much-improved product during the spring game, albeit against marginal defense, but in any case, the path to immediate playing time at Texas would come with much more resistance with Buechele and early enrollee Sam Ehlinger in the mix than it would at Wisconsin and Harvard.
That said, Zaire ideally fits the mold of a typical Tom Herman quarterback and although Texas isn’t the projected pick, it wouldn’t be too terribly surprising if Herman and Tim Beck are able to sell Zaire on the possibility of earning the starting job over a quarterback with just 12 games under his belt.
The quarterback battle in Austin that Herman says is far too early to proclaim a starter may soon be adding an intriguing option.
Zaire’s decision will likely hinge on one considerably important question: Does Zaire want to compete or does Zaire want to start?