Malik Zaire update: Greg Sankey reiterates SEC may alter grad transfer rule

As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news , tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators. Waiting game

Malik Zaire has been a popular topic for Gator Nation this offseason.

The former Notre Dame quarterback has interest in joining the Florida football program as a graduate transfer, but for now he is on standby.

An SEC rule instituted in Jan. 2016 prevents UF from taking Zaire because former grad trnasfer Mason Halter and Antony Harrell failed to meet academic requirements in 2015.

However, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in December that the league could alter the rule at its spring meetings in late May. Sankey reiterated those comments Friday on the Pat Dooley Show on ESPN Gainesville 98. 1 FM.

“It will come up,” Sankey said. “I do think we need to look where we’ve been restrictive in the past because of the absence of national rules and look at reducing some of those restrictions. I’m one who would position it as interest in freeing things up without just removing every restraint, because I think the restraints have been healthy for us.”

At this time, the SEC is the only conference with a grad transfer rule in place. Sankey said he’s disappointed that the NCAA has not taken a harder look at the issue.

“There’s this notion that they’ve graduated, so let them just have freedom,” Sankey said. “I don’t necessarily argue with that, but there’s nothing in the context of intercollegiate athletics that says, ‘Oh, just go play games.’ We never say that.”

“I look at it now and say that we’ve adjusted to realities, and we likely can pull back on some of those internal policies. … I don’t want us to just walk away. I do think it’s a good conversation to adjust because we are performing (better academically).”

If the league opens the door for Zaire to join the Gators, he would certainly be in contention for the starting job in 2017. He has 817 career passing with 6 touchdowns and zero interceptions, completing 59 percent of his pass attempts in 17 games played.

However, Zaire only saw significant action in four games and has a 3-0 record as a starter, including wins over LSU and Texas. He suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the second game of 2015 and served as DeShone Kizer’s backup last year. 2019 DL names top 5

Derick Hunter has a handful of schools standing out early in his recruitment, including UF.

On Friday, the 2019 defensive lineman from Fort Myers, Fla., named a top 5 of Florida, Florida State, Iowa State, Miami and Oregon.The 6-foot-5, 245-pound pass rusher visited the Gators earlier this month for the Orange & Blue Debut. Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here .