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Malik Zaire Switching To Jaylon Smith's No. 9 This Year

Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire has worn No. 8 throughout his Notre Dame career, including for two games last fall before suffering a season-ending leg injury. This fall, Zaire will still be rocking a single digit, but it won't be the same one as he did in 2015. 

Zaire announced on his private Instagram page this afternoon that he will be switching to No. 9 this year. Of course, No. 9 had been worn by standout linebacker Jaylon Smith the last three seasons. To view Zaire's post, you can click here

Zaire and Smith both enrolled at Notre Dame in 2013 and are close. Smith spilled the beans about the number switch to the website Irish Sports Daily

“I am going out on the record saying that the #9 legacy will carry on,” said Smith. “Malik Zaire will be wearing #9 this upcoming fall. That’s my guy. All the way from the ‘IrishMob13.’ Malik said he would hold it down."

The last Notre Dame quarterback to start a game and wear No. 9? Pat Dillingham against Stanford in 2002.

Of course, No. 9 worked pretty well for Tony Rice in the late 1980s, particularly in 1988, when Notre Dame won its last national championship.