Malik Zaire transferred from Notre Dame to Florida to get another shot. And now he’s going to get it.
Interim head coach Randy Shannon has announced that Zaire will get the start against Missouri this weekend over incumbent Feleipe Franks.
Zaire has seen mop up action in two games this year: first against Michigan in a game the Gators never trailed by more than single digits until the final minute and a half but were realistically out of long before that, and then against Georgia, a game that Florida was out of seven minutes into. In his extremely limited action as a Gator, Zaire has completed 12 of his 23 passes for 142 yards. He did lose a fumble against Michigan, which the Wolverines’ Noah Furbush pounced on in the end zone for a touchdown.
But from what we’ve seen so far, Franks simply doesn’t have it. He’s got a big arm, and a world of potential, but he’s been given two thirds of the season- following a redshirt, I may add, which was given to him so he could grow, learn and develop- and what we’ve seen from him is an extremely talented yet extremely green kid who just isn’t ready for the big time. Franks frequently makes the same mistakes over and over again, most notably throwing a game-losing interception to Texas A&M, and what could have very easily been a game losing interception in the final minutes against Tennessee.
Put simply, I’ve seen enough of Franks this year to know that he simply isn’t the best guy for the QB job. And if this team is to have the sort of rebirth that I’m hoping Shannon can oversee, Malik Zaire will have to lead the way.