SOUTH BEND, Ind. — DeShone Kizer probably won't factor into Notre Dame's plans in 2014, much like the situation Malik Zaire found himself in last fall. The four-star dual-threat incoming freshman quarterback looks like a lock to redshirt with Zaire and Everett Golson ahead of him on the depth chart, just as Zaire did in 2013 behind Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix.
Coach Brian Kelly admitted he and his coaching staff "lost" Zaire a little bit last fall, with Zaire neither on the scout team nor taking many reps in practice. He doesn't appear worse for the experience, though Notre Dame will have to figure out how to handle things with Kizer in the same gray area this coming fall.
"That’s reality because of the numbers in particular there," offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock said. "He’s going to be in that similar limbo as far as where he’s going to fit and what he’s doing."
With Kelly preferring to limit Notre Dame to three scholarship quarterbacks, it could force Kizer into a larger role if Golson or Zaire get hurt. That's why Denbrock hopes to get Kizer reps whenever he can this fall, since he'll only be two plays away from having to enter a game.
And too, Kizer has that knack for making plays with his arm and legs that leads Denbrock to believe he can be an effective quarterback at Notre Dame, whenever he does see the field.
"He fits in the mold of what we already have in the program," Denbrock said. "He’s athletic, he can get out in space and make plays and he’s got a strong arm. He can sit in the pocket and throw the football as well. I think it was the combination and the versatility of his skill set that attracted us to him the most."