Fresh off the success of last year’s so-called “rent-a-player” or “free agent quarterback signing” Russell Wilson, the Wisconsin Badgers inked another prominent college football transfer: Maryland’s Danny O’Brien. The junior will have two years of eligibility in Madison beginning this fall.
They had been in the hunt for Notre Dame signal caller Dayne Crist, but he choose to follow the coach who recruited him, Charlie Weiss, to the Kansas Jayhawks instead. If O’Brien enjoys even a fraction of the success the last ACC transferdid (new NCAA record for single season passing efficiency, set in the Rose Bowl, greatest year by a quarterback in Badgers, Big Ten history), then this process will have been well worth it.
O’Brien, who started 17 games at Maryland over the last two seasons, has committed to UW and will play football for the Badgers and attend graduate school at Wisconsin beginning this fall. O’Brien earned FWAA Freshman All-America honors in 2010 after throwing for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 starts. He was also named ACC Rookie of the Year and finished the season ranked fourth in the league in pass efficiency. O’Brien led Maryland to a 9-4 record and a win over East Carolina in the Military Bowl.
He’s expected to win the starting gig in training camp. And you got to hand it to Bielema and company, for recruiting the position hard every year, year-round. Putting them ahead of other schools who don’t recruit the quarterback position as hard as they could.
“We’re excited that Danny has chosen to attend Wisconsin,” Bielema said. “The first thing we did when we were aware of Danny’s interest was to try and find out what type of person he was and if he would fit into our program. From our dealings with him and all the things I have heard from those who have been around him, he is a tremendous person and has great character. He had a fantastic visit and our current players who met him came away impressed. Having graduated from Maryland in just three years, you know right away that he is a smart kid.
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