UF notebook: Room for one more QB on roster, McElwain says

Former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire has Florida as one of the schools where he may land. UF notebook: Room for one more QB on roster, McElwain says

With the early enrollment of true freshman Jake Allen earlier this week, the Florida Gators now have five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster heading into the important summer months.

Five seems like a good number, an adequate number. But UF coach Jim McElwain said there is room — and a need — for one more.

“We’re still short from our number that we want on scholarship,” McElwain said Tuesday night before speaking at the Titletown Gator Club. “So we’ve definitely got room at that position, as we do at the tight end spot, for example, as we do at the nickel spot as far as your roster and where you apply your scholarships.”

There has been growing speculation that Notre Dame graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire could end up at Florida sometime in the next few weeks. But, before that can happen, the SEC would have to amend its graduate transfer rule.

Based on the current league rule, the Gators are not eligible to add a graduate transfer because two previous graduate transfers — linebacker Anthony Harrell and offensive lineman Mason Halter — did not make enough academic progress toward their degree at UF.

The league likely will consider changing its rule at the SEC spring meetings at the end of the month (May 30-June 2) in Destin.

Zaire is scheduled to graduate from Notre Dame next week, and could announce a decision shortly after that.

Although McElwain cannot talk about the Zaire situation, he has indicated there is a possibility of adding a graduate transfer quarterback to the roster this summer.

He said a few weeks ago in Orlando that the offensive staff would have adequate time to get a graduation transfer ready to run the offense in the fall, something they did last season with Austin Appleby.

McElwain dismissed the notion that adding a graduate transfer could hinder the development of the young quarterbacks —- redshirt freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask and true freshmen Kadarius Toney and Allen.

“The best guy is going to play,” McElwain said Tuesday night. “Whoever’s ready.”

McElwain said the offense is flexible enough to accommodate a dual-threat quarterback, which is what Zaire is.“Kadarius is probably one of those as well,” he said. “I think we can adjust based on what we need to do.”NOTES: McElwain said he’s in favor of the NCAA rule that would expand coaching staffs from nine to 10, adding another assistant. “I put it to classroom size. We all know in education the smaller the classroom the better the learning and also the better the monitoring. I think of basketball. I don’t know how many assistants they have, but I think it probably breaks down to probably two to one. I definitely think bringing that 10th guy in when you’re talking about a roster of 120, 125 guys (is a good thing). It shrinks the classroom size and I think […]