Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire was brought in by the Florida staff for a reason, the quarterback expects to play a significant role in Gainesville this season. While his role is still to be determined, Zaire has yet to earn a starting spot with the Gators.
When the Florida offense took the field Thursday, it was redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks who started with the first-team offense. Franks flashed his potential this spring but has yet to prove anything on a college field at this point.
QB Feleipe Franks opens with #Gators first-team offense.
— Edgar Thompson (@osgators) August 3, 2017
Considering Zaire has only 100 pass attempts in his three years at Notre Dame, it’s not like he’s a seasoned veteran at this point either. Even when he has seen the field, the results have been average at best, according to CFB Film Room. The best attribute Zaire has shown so far in his career is an ability to protect the ball, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has what it takes to elevate the Gators to new heights offensively.
Following Zaire’s addition, the early reports out of Gainesville suggest Franks has refused to give way to the former Fighting Irish quarterback. Going with Zaire out of the gate may be the safest option for the Gators, but Franks very well could represent the player with the highest ceiling and the most potential.
However the quarterback competition plays out in the coming weeks, it’s got to be a relief to Florida fans that the team has several legitimate options heading into the season for the first time in the Jim McElwain era.