October 15, 2011
Buckeyes offer junior quarterback
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Ohio State landed a highly regarded quarterback from the Dayton area in the class of 2011 in Wayne signal caller Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes are going back to the Gem City in 2013 as they offered Kettering (Ohio) Alter product Malik Zaire on Thursday. Zaire becomes the first junior prospect to land a verbal offer from Ohio State in months, thanks in large part to his strong junior season so far.
“My coaches told me to call coach (Nick) Siciliano, the quarterbacks coach at Ohio State,” explained Zaire. “When I called him, we just started talking about the team and how they were doing. He said that he knows that he likes his Dayton quarterbacks (referring to Braxton Miller) and that he really wanted me up there too. He said to call him whenever I feel like I want to be a Buckeye.”
While Zaire was sort of blindsided by the news, he was still excited nonetheless.
“At the time I was doing things in school so it kind of caught me off guard but I was also really excited and everything,” he said.
Ohio State joins Wisconsin and Cincinnati to give Zaire three offers. Admittedly, the Buckeyes and Badgers have always been the two schools that have stuck out to the talented dual-threat prospect.
“Wisconsin and Ohio State have been the two schools that I always wanted (an offer from),” he said. “It’s always an honor to have offers from both of the schools that you grew up (following). It will be a tough decision when it comes down to it and I’ll have to think it through really carefully.”
Ironically, Zaire will be in Columbus in two weeks when the Buckeyes host the Badgers in a big night game at Ohio Stadium.
“I’ve been up to Ohio State a few times in the last year for games and camps and stuff so I’m definitely comfortable with the campus and everything,” he said. “It will definitely be a little different experience and different feel to it now that they have extended an offer to me and everything but it will still be an exciting game.”
The fact that Zaire’s top two schools now have both offered and will be battling it out on the field, should certainly make the trip interesting for Zaire.
“It’s going to be interesting, definitely,” he said. “I’ll be watching two of the teams that I’m definitely interested in and seeing how they compete against each other. It will give me some insight on how both teams look when the game pressure is on. I like the coaches of both teams so we’ll just see how it goes.”
Zaire was at Cincinnati on Saturday for the Louisville game and will also be at Northwestern next weekend before making his unofficial visit to Columbus in two weeks.
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