October 11, 2011
2013 QB drawing heavy interest
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The 2013 class in the state of Ohio looks to be a deep one at the quarterback position with a handful of prospects already holding verbal offers. Archbishop Alter product Malik Zaire will be in the discussion for top signal caller in Ohio for the class and the 6-foot-1, 190-pound dual-threat prospect has recently grabbed a pair of offers from Wisconsin and Cincinnati.
"It's a very exciting feeling," said Zaire of the offers. "I'm very honored and blessed to have both of those offers but I also know that it's a lot to prove to people and everyone that is watching that I can make plays and be a good quarterback in college."
Over the next several weeks, Zaire plans to get out to a handful of Midwest programs on some unofficial visits.
"In the next few weeks I'm probably heading to Ohio State, Cincinnati, Northwestern, and Notre Dame," he said. "I'm trying to get out to some games and meet some coaches so it should be pretty cool."
For Zaire, the trip to Columbus won't be his first. The athletic playmaker camped at Ohio State in June and has already been up for an unofficial visit during the season. His next trip to Columbus will be for the Buckeyes' biggest recruiting weekend of the season.
"The Ohio State visit would be for the Wisconsin game," he explained. "My relationship with Ohio State is good with pretty much all of the coaches. I'm really good with coach (Nick) Siciliano, we have a good relationship. That's probably the main reason I'm going up there is to talk to him."
As one of Ohio's top small school programs, Alter has produced its fair share of talent over the years including former Buckeyes Jeff Graham and Nick Mangold. Because of that, it comes as no surprise that Zaire holds Ohio State in high regard.
"My favorite schools that I grew up liking were Florida State and Ohio State," he said. "Then, through watching players like (Chris) Borland, I've grown a liking for Wisconsin. Right now my top two would probably be Ohio State and Wisconsin, but not in any order or anything. I'm also open to all of the other schools that have interest in me so making a decision probably won't be coming any time soon, I have plenty of time (to decide)."
Ohio State has had a good run of dual-threat quarterbacks over the last decade and Zaire has certainly taken notice of that aspect of the offense.
"I definitely watched Braxton Miller a lot when he was in High School," Zaire explained. "I watched Troy Smith and Terrelle Pryor when they were in college. I see myself a little bit like them. I create plays when I need to and that's what those guys do, they're playmakers."
On the field, Zaire and his Alter squad are off to a 7-0 start to the season. Alter is coming off of state championships in 2008 and 2009 and the pieces are once again in place for another big run this season.
"Our season is going great," he said. "We're 7-0 and we've been rolling every week. We've got a few games coming up that will be big for us in terms of winning our conference and also getting into the playoffs so we really have to try and work off of that."
Alter has one of the more varied offensive playbooks that you will see at the high school level, mixing triple option with spread. While that would be overwhelming for a lot of high school juniors, Zaire looks at it as a positive and is a regular in the film room.
"We practice flip-flopping between the option and then opening it back up into the spread," he said. "It helps me a lot more with getting experience for college and also helps open up the defense and looking at the defense and how they react to our formations and plays. It's a lot to take in but also at the same time we do a lot of film study with the coaches and we breakdown defenses so that we can attack with what we feel we can do best."
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