Maryland QB Danny O’Brien expected to decide his future this week
Original story on Examiner.com
Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien is leaving the program. It’s official. It was reported last week that O’Brien had already informed Maryland head coach Randy Edsall that he was intent on transferring, but he quickly refuted those reports by saying via Twitter that he was still a Terp.
Now we know he is moving on.
O’Brien, offensive lineman Max Garcia, and linebacker Mario Rowson all asked for and were granted a release form their scholarships at Maryland, as confirmed by the school in a press release Monday.
“I’m disappointed by Danny’s decision,” coach Randy Edsall said in a prepared statement. “Danny told me that he’s not committed to our program, that he’s not ‘all in.’ I want what’s best for all of our players. Danny wants a fresh start elsewhere. I wish him well.”
O’Brien will be a junior in 2012 with two years of eligibility remaining. According to a report by the Baltimore Sun O’Brien would like to play in an offensive system “that could use an established quarterback and runs a variation of the pro-style offense such as the West Coast Offense.” Schools that fit that mold, as mentioned by the newspaper, include Wisconsin, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Michigan State in addition to Maryland, which remains a strong possibility with the signing of the state’s top player and wide receiver, Stefon Diggs, over the weekend. O’Brien served as host to Diggs on a recent recruiting trip to Maryland, just days before reports came out that the quarterback was contemplating a transfer.
If Maryland is not to be the school of choice for O’Brien, consider Vanderbilt a strong candidate. Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin was previously the offensive coordinator and supposed coach-in-waiting at Maryland when O’Brien was recruited. Franklin remains a personal favorite of O’Brien according to multiple sources. Vanderbilt went to a bowl game in Franklin’s first year on the job after winning just four games each of the previous two seasons.
Vanderbilt’s leading passer last season was redshirt junior Jordan Rodgers, a previous junior college transfer. Jordan is the younger brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and has one year of eligibility left. Rodgers has also been reported to be involved in speaking out against Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination policy as it applies to student groups.
Wisconsin successfully converted an ACC quarterback in 2011, taking N.C. State’s Russell Wilson to lead the Badgers offense to a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl appearance. With Montee Ball returning at running back for Bret Bielema’s squad in 2012 the biggest question mark on offense will once again be under center. Michigan State loses Kirk Cousins at quarterback but, like Wisconsin, looks to be in decent shape everywhere else in 2012 and could be in position to make a run back to the Big Ten championship game if things fall in to place in the fall.
Stanford loses Andrew Luck, one of the top quarterbacks in the nation over the past two seasons. The Cardinal had a very strong recruiting class signed for 2012 and it appears that Stanford will remain in contention for the next few years in the Pac 12.
O’Brien is on track to graduate this spring, which means that if he decides to transfer he will be exempt from the NCAA rules requiring an FBS player from sitting out a year when transferring to another FBS program. He would be available to play immediately wherever he ends up playing. O’Brien would just need to be enrolled in a graduate program in order to remain eligible.
So, where will O’Brien end up? Share your prediction in the poll widget below, and leave your choice for “Other” in the comment section. We’ll keep the poll running until we get official word on where O’Brien will play in 2012.
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