It was late, he was tired and he had a long day, but four-star quarterback and Notre Dame commit Malik Zaire knows it’s all part of the process of becoming a great quarterback.
Zaire, along with the other 24 quarterbacks competing at the Elite 11, had been up since 4 am on Friday morning. Beginning their day with Navy Seal training in the Pacific Ocean, hitting the film room in the morning, and finishing out the afternoon and evening on the field throwing 7 on 7, it’s not your typical summer schedule for your average high school senior.
“It was tough but we were able to get through it,” Zaire said. “I think a little maturity came out of all of us. You have to be mentally tough throughout the whole day.”
Along with technique, decision-making and overall knowledge of the quarterback position, Zaire said he learned something just as valuable off the field at the Elite 11.
“The journey. The journey and the process that you go through at Elite 11 is definitely intense. It’s a mental and physical struggle the whole week but it’s all about how bad you want to be a part of the best competition.”
Zaire recognizes the next year of his life is its own special journey. With one more year of high school left, it’s all about one thing.
“It’s definitely the state championship. That’s the only thing on my mind. You have little goals that you want to achieve on the way there but you want to be on top at the end.”
After his senior season, Zaire will head to South Bend (Indiana) to play for Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish.
“I’m looking to forward to learning as much as I can as quickly as possible and competing for the starting job.”
Often labeled a dual-threat quarterback, Zaire fights the notion of labels or being associated with one style of play.
“I’m a win games type of guy. Whatever coach calls I’m going to run and do well at. I don’t classify myself as anything; it’s whatever it takes to get the win.”
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