Notre Dame has two quarterbacks that shined last season, and Brian Kelly announced on Wednesday that both Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer will play in the team’s season opener against Texas.Zaire opened the 2015 season as Notre Dame’s undisputed starter, and he played well before fracturing his ankle against Virginia. In the team’s clash against Texas last season, Zaire went 19-for-22 with 319 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Kizer took over for Zaire after his injury, and he also impressed. The 6-4, 230-pounder threw for 2,884 yards and 21 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions in 2015.
DeShone Kizer says he/Malik Zaire were told last night both will play at Texas, but he had a hunch that would happen pic.twitter.com/h2956kfyhF— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) August 17, 2016
Here’s what Kelly had to say about his decision:
#NotreDame HC Brian Kelly on DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire: "What’s in our best interest is that both of them help us beat Texas."— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) August 17, 2016
Kelly: "If I list my top five playmakers, [Zaire and Kizer] are both in it. ... I can't put one of those guys on the sideline against Texas"— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) August 17, 2016
Brian Kelly says he would "definitely" consider playing DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire at the same time.— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 17, 2016
Usually, teams with uncertainty at the quarterback spot might lack any viable options. That’s not the case with Notre Dame.
Watching ND practice this morning, I saw much what Kelly described: Kizer & Zaire both really good. Young receivers a big question, though.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) August 17, 2016
The Fighting Irish defeated the Longhorns by a score of 38-0 last season.