Malik Zaire is reportedly down to four schools, but his reported decision date could end the chance for one of the bigger programs involved to land the Notre Dame quarterback: Florida.
The Gators are one of the four reported finalists to land Zaire, along with Harvard, Texas, and Wisconsin. It was previously reported that he would be making his decision after his Notre Dame graduation, which takes place on the weekend of May 19. Now, according to Orange Bloods writer Anwar Richardson, Zaire plans to make the decision right on May 19, which would potentially take Florida out of contention.
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
Florida needs some help to become available as a destination for Zaire, or another grad transfer. The SEC is looking to amend a grad transfer rule during the conference’s meetings later this off-season, which would allow the Gators to land Zaire.
SEC Country explains the situation in Gainesville.
Two previous graduate transfers to land at Florida — OT Mason Halter and LB Anthony Harrell — didn’t meet academic requirements during their time in Gainesville. As a result, the SEC rule restricted the Gators from taking any more graduate transfers for three years, starting in 2016.
However, if the league amends the restriction to one year, Zaire could be free to enroll at Florida and compete for the starting quarterback job this fall.
SEC spring meetings, which take place in Destin, Florida, typically occur in late May/early June. If Zaire wants to keep Florida as an option, May 19 will be too early to make that decision.