O'Brien: 'It was Unbelievable'

Going through his third official visit during his spring break, junior quarterback Danny O'Brien didn't mince words when describing his impressive visit to the University of Wisconsin.

MADISON - In two months, Maryland junior Danny O'Brien will have a degree in business management. Within the next two weeks, O'Brien hopes to know what school he'll continue his college career at for the next two years.

O'Brien – a 6-3, 215-pound quarterback formerly a three-star QB ranked No.58 in the 2009 recruiting class by Scout.com – wrapped up his third visit when he spent the weekend touring the University of Wisconsin and its football program.

But if anyone thought O'Brien was going to get a full-blown sales pitch with the red carpet, VIP treatment, the Wisconsin coaches simply let the program – winners of the last two conference championships – sell itself.

"It's a great opportunity and it wasn't really a sales pitch; they just did what they do," O'Brien told Badger Nation. "A team like that which has had that much success doesn't need to sell you on anything. The place sold itself, and it was an unbelievable weekend getting to know Coach Bielema, Coach Canada and all the players. They are a bunch of hardworking guys and it was unbelievable to meet these people in person.

"The city of Madison is unbelievable. The facilities are obviously great and the whole surrounding area is great. It's a great college atmosphere and just a great place to be."

Wisconsin was involved early on in the process for O'Brien - the ACC rookie of the year and a freshman All-American after passing for 2,438 yards, with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions for Maryland in 2010.

When O'Brien sat down with the Wisconsin coaching staff, the topic briefly gleaned to another ACC quarterback that transferred to Wisconsin and immediately had success, as former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson rewrote the Badgers record book last season.

Like Wilson, the Badgers said the opportunity to play right away is there if O'Brien wants to come in and compete for the vacant quarterback job.

"Obviously nothing will be given and you have to compete anywhere you go," said O'Brien. "That's kind of my whole thing. I just want to get to a school and compete for a starting job, and Wisconsin has a couple of great quarterbacks already. I am ready to compete against anyone. It's real similar to Russell's situation, obviously, but it's too independent situations that happen to work out this way."

O'Brien spent time with a number of players over the weekend but for any quarterback, the group that made one of the bigger impacts was Wisconsin's massive offensive line.

"They are as big as advertised and a little bit bigger," said O'Brien. "They are real hard workers and it was really good to be around them."

Before coming to Wisconsin, O'Brien's first visit was to State College and the campus of Penn State. O'Brien met new head coach Bill O'Brien and his coaching staff and walked away with a positive vibe that was similar to what he experienced at Wisconsin.

"There are a lot of great guys that I got to met with great facilities in a great college town," said O'Brien of the Penn State trip. "It was a really great visit. I am just blessed to have multiple great opportunities to go and compete and win a job. That's what makes it tough."

From State College, O'Brien traveled to Oxford, MS, and toured the campus of Ole Miss. The Rebels might seem like the odd team in the equation, but O'Brien had developed a good relationship with first-year head coach Huge Freeze and offensive coordinator Dan Werner early in the process.

"(The BBQ) was unbelievable," said O'Brien. "The food was great. I know their staff pretty well and they are great guys. I just wanted to get down there and check it out. All three trips have been very good."

O'Brien says all three schools, including Vanderbilt, are options for him going forward. He is unsure if he will take any more visits with school starting up for him Monday.

"I am not sure what I am going to do going forward," O'Brien said. "I've got a good idea of what I want to do, but squeezing these three trips during spring break was hectic. I am going to sit down, talk to my family and see where it goes from there. Once I know, I am not going to drag it along."

One thing is for sure, O'Brien is ready to get into the new playbook and start his new college career.

"You don't plan on going through the recruiting process twice but that's how it worked out," said O'Brien. "I am really blessed and really thankful to have a couple great programs with a lot of great people involved that want me to be a part of their team. It's humbling, but I am excited to start a new chapter and get rolling."


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