Ex-Irish QB Malik Zaire to transfer to Florida

Former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire has told ESPN and multiple media outlets that he plans to transfer to Florida and join the Gators as a graduate transfer.

Zaire told ESPN on Sunday that he will visit Florida's campus on Wednesday, when he hopes to finalize the graduate transfer process. A source told ESPN's Edward Aschoff that Florida still needs to settle an academic issue with Zaire before they can officially announce his transfer.

"The visit Wednesday is just making sure we dot our I's and cross our T's, so it's just everything really solidifying things," Zaire told ESPN's Tom VanHaaren. "Making sure it feels how I know it would be of making it a home. If everything goes as planned, I'm a Gator, but of course the visit is important to take everything in."

Fox Sports was first to report Zaire's plans late Saturday night.

"You just want to be able to be a part of something special," Zaire told 247Sports. "You're playing in basically like a minor league from The League. For me, I didn't want the challenge to dissipate at the end of the day.

"Coming from Notre Dame, you're playing top games every week, and I wanted to continue that trend. I didn't want to run from the challenge, I wanted to embrace the challenge."

Zaire said earlier this week that he was considering multiple schools as landing spots, including Florida, Texas, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

The path for Zaire's transfer to Florida was made easier Friday when the SEC tweaked its graduate transfer policy, easing restrictions and reducing penalties for programs whose graduate transfers fail to meet academic requirements.

Zaire figures to immediately compete with Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and Luke Del Rio for the Gators' starting job.

"I'm going in there to be a part of the team and do what I can to help the team win and win the team's respect," Zaire told 247Sports. "There's other guys out there on the field, too. So being a good teammate is first and foremost. Being a good teammate and letting the other things happen when they happen and continue to work hard. I think I bring some value and good things to the team, so I'm excited to be a part of that."