Two seasons ago, UB Football under Jeff Quinn had a clear future at the quarterback position: Joe Licata would finish out his career, and then one of Collin Michael, older but hampered by injury, or Chris Merchant, an exciting Canadian who could make plays with both his arm and his legs.
In the time since, Michael and Quinn have left, Lance Leipold brought in another touted recruit in Tyree Jackson, only to further bolster the post-Licata depth with Iowa State transfer Grant Rohach, and now Canada's London Free Press reports that Merchant will soon head to the University of Western Ontario Mustangs. While it's just one article, Bull Run has its own sourcing on this matter, which indicated after the spring game that Merchant "sees the writing on the wall," and will leave the program.
The decision comes after Merchant dutifully waited out two seasons, using his redshirt, for Licata to graduate, and by all accounts had a strong spring, culminating with a 7-10 day at last weekend's spring game, including three of the day's longer completions.
While Jackson has reportedly beefed up to 6-6, 240, and Rohach of course didn't transfer here to not play, Merchant's departure does leave UB in a precarious position with the grad transfer and the redshirt-freshman the only quarterbacks on the roster with experience in the program. Dominic Johnson joins the program as a true freshman this summer, and presumably Lance Leipold and his staff will be on the hunt for at least one solid recruit at the position in next years' class.
The London Free Press article linked above indicates that Merchant would still have four years' eligbility at UWO, one of the most historically prolific programs in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, boasting six Vanier Cup titles.