With the first game of the season less than 30 days away, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly may just have one of the biggest starting competitions in all of college football right now.
Making the decision between Malik Zaire or DeShone Kizer may be one of the tougher choices Kelly has had to make in his career when it comes to positioning.
While taking the time to speak with reporters on campus Friday before Notre Dame headed to Culver Military Academy to begin fall practice, Kelly didn’t want to get too far off track when discussing which quarterback would be starting at Texas on September 4.
This was a different approach than many fans were expecting Kelly to take after making it clear last spring that he wanted to choose one guy to lead the team and move forward from there.
Both Kizer and Zaire are duel threat quarterbacks and have the ability to run the ball into the end zone from 10 yards out on a split second decision. Kizer is a right handed, red shirt sophomore who came in at the end of the game against Virginia during the second week of the 2015 season to lead the Irish to a come from behind victory.
He was able to complete 63 percent of his passes last season while racking up 2,884 yards through the air and throwing 21 touchdowns in the process. He also added over 500 yards on the ground and ran the ball into the end zone 10 times himself.
The left-handed Zaire is a red shit junior and is back at both full health and strength after breaking his right ankle early last season. He lost the starting job to Everett Golson during the 2014 season, bus is undefeated at 3-0 as a starter. In the season opener last year against Texas, Zaire threw the ball for 313 yards while going 19-22.
Kelly hasn’t ruled out the possibility of using both quarter backs this season on a week to week, and some times a play by play decision.
“I haven’t resisted any temptation to be honest with you,” Kelly said concerning the quarterbacks. “All I can tell you is we’re going to let both of them compete, and we think we’ll have a starter for you, but I don’t know what will happen during the year. During the year there might be a lull in the game where we feel like: All right, the other guy’s practicing well, we’ll play him. I don’t know.”