O'Brien Starting the Process

Unhappy with the direction of his Maryland program, sophomore quarterback Danny O'Brien is preparing to graduate and transfer immediately to another Division 1 school to finish the final two years of his college career. Badger Nation gets some information from the 2010 ACC rookie of the year.

MADISON - Stuck between a rock and a Terrapin, Danny O'Brien is ready to start a new chapter in his college football career. He just has to finish his degree, find his school and find his composure.

"It's been a whirlwind," O'Brien told Badger Nation, "so I am just taking it slow, laying low and keeping pretty quiet for the next week."

The 6-3, 215-pound quarterback – formally a three-star QB ranked No.58 in the 2009 recruiting class by Scout.com - made headlines Monday since he asked for and was granted his release from Maryland. A report in the Baltimore Sun cited sources close to O'Brien who said he was looking closely at Wisconsin and Stanford.

O'Brien didn't go into which schools he was looking at visiting, but did admit he was interested in following the lead of another former ACC quarterback - N.C. State Russell Wilson – and taking a closer look at the Big Ten champs ... just not immediately.

"I am not coming to Wisconsin this weekend," O'Brien said.

Unlike Wilson, however, O'Brien would have two seasons of eligibility remaining after graduating from Maryland in the spring. Because of the decision of Jordan Diamond to not commit to Wisconsin on Feb.3, the Badgers have a scholarship available to which it could offer O'Brien.

With questions still surrounding whether Jon Budmayr (elbow) and Curt Phillips (knee) will be able to recover from injuries that have cost them at least a season, the inexperience surrounding returning quarterbacks Joe Brennan and Joel Stave and the unknown skills of four-star Bart Houston, O'Brien provides a potential quick fix that the Badgers got from Wilson last season. That depends on, however, which O'Brien shows up.

Named the ACC rookie of the year and a freshman All-American after passing for 2,438 yards, with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions, O'Brien went 7-3 as a starter in 2010 and had an efficiency rating of 134.5 in the Terps' pro-style offense.

O'Brien took a step back last season as he struggled under the spread offense instituted by new head coach Randy Edsall and offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, who was fired after the Terps finished 2-10. O'Brien completed just 56.4 percent of his passes for 1,648 yards seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His season ended when he suffered a broken bone in his non-throwing arm on Nov. 12 in a loss to Notre Dame.

"I am disappointed by Danny's decision," Edsall said in a statement. "Danny told me that he is not committed to our program, that he is not ‘all in.' I want what's best for all of our players. Danny wants a fresh start elsewhere. I wish him well."

Wisconsin has already been turned down once by a transfer quarterback, as former Notre Dame quarterback decided to play for former coach Charlie Weis at Kansas on Dec.22.

UW coach Bret Bielema has said new offensive coordinator Matt Canada will continue to run a pro-style offense that O'Brien thrived in two years ago.


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