When Texas announced back in March that redshirt freshman Matthew Merrick was leaving the program, it was billed as Merrick’s decision.
In a statement released by UT, Merrick was quoted saying he’d “decided to step away from the football team and focus on my academics at UT.” He also thanked Longhorns coaches Tom Herman and Tim Beck.
Now Merrick is reportedly set to resume his football career at Virginia, and in an interview with The Daily Progress he disputed the “narrative” surrounding his exit from Texas.
“I never really had in my mind that I wasn’t going to play football,” said Merrick, who plans to walk on at Virginia. “I just knew that I would need a different scene. I’m pretty sure that when it came out on Texas’ end, it looked like I was just focusing on academics and that I didn’t really want to play anymore. But that wasn’t really the conversation that was had, but there always has to be a narrative, and that was it.
“But from my end, there’s been maybe five minutes since I’ve left the UT team that I wasn’t going to play football.”
It’s an interesting spin to say the least from the Dallas native, who told The Daily Progress that he finished up classes at Texas last week before moving to Charlottesville.
Merrick never made an announcement on Twitter, which has become customary for players in his position. In fact, Merrick’s last re-tweet is from March 10 following the Longhorns’ final workout before spring break.
Merrick was the third-string quarterback at Texas, unlikely to see playing time with Shane Buechele and Sam Ehlinger in front of him and wide receiver Jerrod Heard as an experienced emergency option.
However, Merrick’s absence from the roster seemed to provide a sense of urgency in Herman’s quest to land a high-profile graduate transfer. At the time of his exit, the Longhorns were pursuing LSU transfer Brandon Harris, who wound up at North Carolina. Texas also tried and failed to recruit Malik Zaire.
The result is that the Longhorns now only have two quarterbacks on the roster for 2017. Meanwhile, Merrick is in Virginia and apparently interested in setting the record straight.
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