Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter junior quarterback Malik Zaire picked up his first offer this past summer from Cincinnati. The Bearcats were recently joined by a new offer this past weekend from one of Zaire's early top two schools.
"I went to the Nebraska-Wisconsin game," Zaire said. "My coach suggested that I go up there because they eventually ended up offering me. I didn't know they were going to offer me at the time… I just listened to my coach, went up there and ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would."
The 6-1, 190-pound Zaire was not expecting the offer from Wisconsin so soon, and detailed how the Badger's informed him.
"It was during pregame and everybody was in the recruiting room," Zaire said. "Coach [Joe] Rudolph pulled me aside and took me down to the locker room where the players were getting dressed. Coach [Bret] Bielema came up and talked to me about how they were going to offer me. It was kind of overwhelming at first, but I ended up taking it all in."
Zaire spent the entire visit taking in the sights and sounds around Madison. The offer, combined with his game day experience, has increased his perception of the Badgers.
"It's a pretty strong interest," Zaire said. "They were one of my top two anyway - them and Ohio State. [The visit] only confirmed what I believed before. The atmosphere was great. I love the fans, the coaches and the whole campus in general. It was a really nice place to be at."
Ohio State is the other team standing out atop Zaire's list, and he has also attended several games in Columbus this fall.
"I was at the one when they played Toledo, and that was a good experience," Zaire said. "The game was kind of close, but they ended up pulling through, so it was a good time."
Growing up, Zaire followed Ohio State and Florida State most closely. Since his recruitment has begun, other teams showing strong interest include Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Boston College, Michigan State and Oregon. He plans to get out and see more games this fall, but those will probably take place late in the season.
"In the next few weeks I am slowing down the visits because I am going to focus on these next couple games that we need for our team so we can get to the playoffs," Zaire said. "After that, I'll probably take another visit or two."
Zaire has helped lead Archbishop Alter to a 6-0 start to the season. He is an outstanding athlete who can pick up yards with his feet, but says he is definitely a pass-first quarterback.