We went back and watched [graduate transfer quarterback] Malik Zaire [playing for Notre Dame] against Texas [in 2015] and then the game he got hurt in [against Virginia]. Zaire could give them an element that they didn’t have with [departed QB Austin] Appleby: a guy who can make plays with his arm and his feet. He can make a difference. They still have a lot of speed on the perimeter. [Antonio] Callaway [a 5' 11", 197-pound junior] can always get open, and [at 6' 2", 196] Tyrie Cleveland has some size and can run. They’ve got a good running back [5' 10", 213-pound junior Jordan Scarlett], too. The kicker [junior Eddy Pineiro] has an explosive leg.
We’ll have to see if the defense changes much with [first-year coordinator] Randy Shannon taking over for Geoff Collins. They might not be as deep as they were in the secondary—especially with [senior] safety [Marcell] Harris out for the year [with a torn right Achilles tendon]—but they’re still going to make your quarterback throw the ball into tight windows. They also may be a little better at getting after the quarterback. Cece [Jefferson] might have been a little too small to play tackle [at 6' 1", 261], but he can play at end. Jabari Zuniga [a 6' 3", 245-pound sophomore DE] might be the best of the group.