Last year Wisconsin saw themselves devoid of a proven starter at Quarterback and landed the services of Russell Wilson, a transfer from North Carolina State. That worked out pretty darn well. Now, it's another offseason and Wisconsin could be dipping into the ACC once again for another former starter?
If you are to believe a report out of the Baltimore Sun the Badgers may be in the mix for now former Maryland Quarterback Danny O'Brien. In the report they site sources close to the QB as saying that Wisconsin, Stanford, Michigan State, and Vanderbilt COULD be options for him.
Well, we know by his release that Vanderbilt isn't an option as that was a school excluded from the list of eligible universities to transfer to. Additionally he will not be allowed to transfer to any other ACC school on it's future schedules or any non-conference opponents on future schedules as well. Wisconsin, Stanford, and Michigan State all fit that bill at this point.
What makes this situation a bit more intriguing is that O'Brien is on pace to graduate this spring and would be eligible to transfer immediately to another school that offers a graduate program that Maryland doesn't. Unlike Wilson he actually has two years of eligibility left.
Off the field those are good things, but what about his on the field performance? Well he was the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2010. That season he started 10 of 13 games and threw for 2,438 yards while completing 57% of his passes. He had 22 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions.
But things were different last year when Randy Edsell took over as the Head Coach of the Terps. O'Brien played in just 9 games for a team that was 2-10 this past season. He shared a lot time behind center and ended the season passing for 1,648 yards and a completion percentage of just 56.4%. He had 7 TD's with 10 INT's on the year, which was a chief reason why he lost his starting job after a few bad performances early in the season.
Just like the previous QB linked to Wisconsin, Dayne Crist, he showed a ton of promise but not a lot of results to speak of after that 1st season of promise. It may be that he didn't fit into the changing offense or didn't get along with the new staff, something he indicated in the report. That report stated he told Randy Edsall he "wasn't 'all in'," after thinking about it for a few days.
While there hasn't been any confirmation of schools on his list directly from O'Brien himself I wouldn't be surprised if Wisconsin doesn't take a look since they really don't have anything close to a player with a chunck of experience behind center and could be a better option than Crist, who's signing we opposed, because he has more than a year of eligibility left and could help ease the transition to Bart Houston or Joel Stave without having to thrust one or the other in the starting job before they truly were ready.
The transfer request of O'Brien should be very interesting and something we'll be keeping a close eye on here. If you havent' seen him play at all, he's got a ton of talent and here's a bit of proof for you: