Dayton (Ohio) Archbishop Alter quarterback Malik Zaire looks at his selection to play in this year’s Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl as a community honor.
Zaire committed to Notre Dame back in March over offers from the likes of Alabama, Boston College, Cincinnati, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin.
“It’s just a great blessing,” the future Notre Dame signal-caller began. He is ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s top-dual threat quarterback and No. 110 prospect overall.
“It really shows that all of the hard work has paid off that I’ve put in over the years. Just the help from the community and my teammates, we’ve been able to come together and work together and win a lot of games over the years and I wouldn’t be here without them.”
The second-annual game will be held at 9 p.m. (EST) Jan. 4 at the Home Depot Center near Los Angeles and will be televised nationally on the NFL Network. Last year’s game featured several players already making a big impact on college football this season, including Georgia running back Todd Gurley and Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt.
“I’m excited to get a chance to play for the Marines because they do so much for our country and I think it’s an opportunity for me to maybe do a little something for them,” Zaire said. “I know it’s kind of a new game and hopefully we’ll get the trend started that everyone will eventually want to do the Semper Fidelis game.”
Zaire looks forward to getting to South Bend and helping continue the current trend Notre Dame has going with its 8-0 record and current No. 3 ranking by the BCS. He committed to the Irish back in March over offers from the likes of Alabama, Boston College, Cincinnati, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin.
“Notre Dame is doing really great,” Zaire said. “I expected them to do well this year and they lived up to expectations in my opinion. I just want to go in and do what I have to do and make myself available and ready when called on. If that’s starting the first year, then that’s great. If not, I can learn as much as I can and still be ready when my number is called and help the team win games and get the team to where they are today which is 8-0 so far.”
Zaire feels his experience at the Semper Fidelis Bowl will help him prepare for the next level.
“I’m just really looking forward to being around coaches that have been around the game a long time and relaying the info they have that they can pass down to me so I can do a good job (at Notre Dame). Also, I’m looking forward to playing against the other All-Americans across the country. It should be a good experience seeing guys I’ll be playing against on the next level and to also play with guys I’ll be playing with at Notre Dame like Devin Butler. I think that will be pretty awesome as well.”
Zaire also has one more awesome thing he’d like to do with the folks from his community before leaving. The Ohio Mr. Football candidate has led Alter to an 8-1-1 record as the playoffs begin this weekend, having passed for 1,651 yards and rushing for another 1,017 yards in a triple option offense.
“We’ve been setting goals to win state all along so I don’t think we’ll sell ourselves short this year,” Zaire said.