As a Buffalo fan it feels weird not to be chomping at the bit for a great Quarterback to emerge this spring. It feels even stranger to call Joe Licata a Junior. But Licata is a Junior so even if he is our go to guy for the rest of his UB career it's time to start thinking about 2016.
The Bulls currently have four Quarterbacks on the roster. Joe Licata and Collin Michael are traditional pocket passers. They are not incredibly mobile guys who function best when provided a pocket to work in.
Tony Daniel has had good spring games and made a play in 2011 which that was the difference in Buffalo's win over Miami. From what I have seen he is a lot like Alex Zordich. He's not a dynamic runner but he is a guy with the instincts to use his legs more than Licata or Michael.
As much as I do like what UB has done with the QB's, one should never bet the farm on a Sophomore Quarterback who has not played an NCAA Down, no matter how good they looked in high school. Right now the only two underclassmen UB has are Michael and walk on Craig Slowik.
So this season UB has four quarterback recruits, one of whom is Chris Merchant.
Merchant is among a growing number of Canadians who are opting to play their college ball at UB. He feels that many of his countrymen are "are overlooked solely because of their nationality." He went on to tell Bull Run that he believes that UB has done "a great job of making players aware of their program" and that these players are more than capable of competing in the NCAA.
Coach Shorter owns the recruiting of Canadian players so he had a big part in securing Merchant but Chris also mentioned that Coach Quinn, Coach Patterson, Coach Wood, Coach Pilkey all "played key roles in the process" and were a major reason on why he chose UB. All of these coaches made the stand out feel welcome at UB.
It was the coaches who made the difference for Merchant. At a Quarterback invitation this spring Merchant was listed as the best performer. QBU coach Donovan Dooley called the 6-2, 180, St. Andrews College Quarterback "very polished," Dooley said. "He had nice velocity on his throws. He was very accurate."
Shortly after the invitation Buffalo extended Merchant an offer and he accepted within a month.
Merchant describes himself as a "pocket passer", who can also use legs. In the balanced Buffalo offense which has emerged, the St. Andrews College college QB believes he will be able to fit right in.
This past season the Saints played their way into the CISAA Championship game but fell to Upper Canada College by a score of 30-25. Coming into the contest Saint Andrews was a perfect 7-0 but was hampered by injuries. Even banged up the Saints scored a touchdown and conversion to take the lead 25-24 late in the contest. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough and the Blues made two big plays to steal the win.
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