Five Things To Know About New Notre Dame Quarterback Malik Zaire

The torch has officially been passed with Everett Golson's departure to Tallahassee, as dynamic junior Malik Zaire now has the reins of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish offense and the full backing of head coach Brian Kelly. What should you expect with Zaire under center in South Bend? Here's Five Things To Know About New Notre Dame Quarterback Malik Zaire.

1. Impressive Small Sample

In his first start in the Music City Bowl against LSU (a 31-28 win), Zaire finished 12-of-15 passing with 192 total yards and led the team to a game-winning field-goal drive. He added 96 rushing yards and acted as the general conduit for the offense in a bowl win that snapped ND out of its late-season funk. That big performance against a name school is an interesting, small starting sample for ND to hang their hat on.

2. Zaire Has A CANNON

Zaire rivals Cardale Jones for the biggest arm in college football today. That's saying something. Search out a YouTube clip of the lefty's 68-yard rocket to Will Fuller which traveled a legit 60 yards in the air. Completely daffy stuff.

3. He's Tasked With Killing The Turnover Problem

Everett Golson's 22 turnovers last year was the back-breaker when it came to ND's College Football Playoff dreams. Zaire doesn't need to light it up through the air to be successful this year. He just needs to protect the ball consistently for the Irish to contend.

4. He's A Perfect Fit For Brian Kelly's Offense

Zaire totaled 1,990 passing yards, 1,120 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns during his senior year at Archbishop Alter High School. That's perfect for Kelly who needs an athletic, perimeter-stretching QB for his offense to run at full efficiency. If Zaire is cut loose in both facets of the game, Notre Dame's offense gains a couple of key dimensions going forward.

5. He's The Right Guy At The Right Time

Kelly was a ticking time bomb watching Everett Golson squander away the team's 7-0 start last year. Golson's departure will be good for his blood pressure and great for the Irish's playoff chances. Zaire has Kelly's full endorsement and that should be conducive to pure production for the kid as good work/play environments tend to be.

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Related Topics: Notre Dame Football, Malik Zaire, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Brian Kelly, NCAA