Alouettes add Canadian QB Chris Merchant

Photo courtesy: Western University athletics
Photo courtesy: Western University athletics

The Montreal Alouettes have signed Canadian quarterback Chris Merchant.

Merchant went unselected in the 2019 CFL draft.

As a Canadian university quarterback, Merchant was a tough leader who commanded the respect of his teammates. Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton and Edmonton interviewed Merchant at the CFL combine and each team asked if he would consider playing other positions in the pros. Versatility does help in the CFL game as rosters are smaller than in the NFL, but Merchant deserves a long look as a quarterback.

Merchant transferred from the University of Buffalo and Western University was the destination in Canada as he became the Mustangs starter. He led Western to a perfect 12-0 season in 2017 and capped it off by beating Laval in the Vanier Cup. For his efforts, Merchant earned MVP of the national title game completing 13-of-20 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown while adding 89 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. After leading Western back for the rematch with Laval in 2018, the Rouge et Or counter punched and won at home, but Merchant was solid in a hostile environment.

Merchant was coached hard by Greg Marshall, the former Hamilton Ticats head coach, at Western. The Calgary native has already been at two CFL training camps, Stampeders in 2017 and Ticats last year.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.