After retiring from football in March to focus on academics, former Texas Longhorns quarterback Matthew Merrick will transfer to the Virginia Cavaliers program as a walk-on for the fall semester, a source told Wahoos247.
Merrick redshirted during the 2015 season and did not see playing time as a redshirt freshman, leaving him three seasons of eligibility.
The 6’3, 205-pounder was born in Virginia before moving to Dallas at a young age. His father, Nick, played wide receiver for the ‘Hoos, lettering all four years and leading the team in receiving yards as a sophomore in 1982. He finished his career with 65 receptions, 1,044 yards, and three touchdowns.
When Merrick walked away from the Longhorns football program, it wasn’t clear that he would ever play again, but it appears that the opportunity to play for his father’s alma mater was too much to pass up.
“I had a great talk with Coach [Tim] Beck, who was willing to help me with whatever I decided to do,” Merrick said in a release. “After discussing it with my family, I’ve decided to step away from the football team and focus on my academics at UT. If an opportunity were to present itself in the future, that’s something that I would consider, but for now, I believe it’s best to strengthen my academics as much as possible. I want to thank all my teammates, the staff, Coach Beck and Coach [Tom] Herman for their support, and I appreciate all the relationships I’ve built during my time with the team. I’ll always consider myself a Longhorn and will be rooting for them in the future.”
During Merrick’s redshirt season in 2015, he was a member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, but never had a declared major listed on his Texas athletics biography.
Merrick was still largely an unknown quantity, as he never appeared in a game for Texas in his two years on the Forty Acres. Originally a grayshirt candidate as a member of the 2015 recruiting class despite scholarship offers from other schools like Nevada and Colorado State in the process, Merrick stuck with the Longhorns and eventually landed on scholarship for the 2015 season.
As a former basketball player who played at a private school and was late in committing fully to football, Merrick is still a developmental project for Virginia.
With his departure in the spring, the ‘Horns will have only two scholarship quarterbacks on campus this fall — sophomore Shane Buechele, the prospective starter, and Sam Ehlinger, a freshman who enrolled early.