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Anthony Chiusano | NCAA.com | August 31, 2016

Nine-year-old battling cancer gets to be Irish QB for day

Come Sunday, Malik Zaire and Deshone Kizer will continue battling for Notre Dame's starting quarterback job as both will get snaps against Texas. But for a day, a third quarterback facing a more crucial battle was thrown into the fold in a touching fashion.

Nine-year-old Kellen McCord, who is fighting stage IV neuroblastoma and on third relapse, was hosted by the Fighting Irish in practice this week as he served as an honorary member of the "red army" -- Notre Dame's nickname for its quarterback group that wears red non-contact practice jerseys.

McCord spent time with quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford and the team's five quarterbacks. Zaire graciously gave McCord his No. 9 practice jersey as McCord played catch and did a ladder running drill before breaking down the positional group's huddle.

What was McCord's last message to the group?

"You guys better beat Michigan State in two weeks," he said.

Kellen's Krusade was created earlier this year and allows people to donate to help discover a cure for children with relapsed cancers, according to the Facebook's About page.