It would have been tough for Malik Zaire (Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) not to commit to Notre Dame this weekend. His health may have depended on it.
The Irish notched a verbal commitment from the ESPNU 150 Watch List quarterback Sunday, making him the fourth junior prospect to commit to the program during a successful Junior Day weekend.
The first three were offensive linemen who weigh in at a combined 865 pounds.
"I definitely believe I'll be safe behind those guys," Zaire said with a laugh. "I like the fact we're able to get so many in one day and now just build a foundation."
A 6-foot, 190-pound signal caller, Zaire (Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) said he fell in love with the campus during his visit Saturday, phoning head coach Brian Kelly the next day.
"I felt like it's just one of those things that not everybody gets the chance to be a part of," Zaire said. "I really believe in coach Kelly, he's trying to build something special. He's developing great quarterbacks, he has a lot of wins and the offense that he runs is like mine in high school and it wouldn't be such a big jump. It will be a great transition to it and just to work with coach Kelly would be cool."
Zaire was the second commitment Notre Dame received Sunday, joining Watch List offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey (Philadelphia/William Penn).
Notre Dame received verbal commitments Saturday from offensive tackles Colin McGovern (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West) and Hunter Bivin (Owensboro, Ky./Apollo), the latter a Watch List member. The Irish now have seven commitments for the 2013 class after entering the weekend with just three.
ESPNU 150 Watch List tight end Jacob Matuska (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Hartley), athlete James Onwualu (Saint Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) and ESPNU 150 Watch List offensive tackle Steve Elmer (Midland, Mich./Midland) are the Irish's other three commitments from this class.
Zaire said he is intrigued by the four-man quarterback competition Notre Dame is currently staging, and he looks forward to jumping in the mix upon his arrival.
None of the Irish's current quarterbacks are entering their senior year.
"Coach Kelly believes I can come here and play. If he didn't believe that he probably wouldn't have offered me," Zaire said. "That gives me motivation to go out and show I can take over the role and be the next great Notre Dame quarterback and lead that offense and lead the team to a national title.
"I'm not afraid to compete. You've got to compete with the best to be the best."