Tag Archive | "Danny O’Brien"

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Your Monday Reality Check: O’Brien saga another example of flawed system

Posted on 22 July 2013 by Glenn Clark

I’ve never hidden from the fact that I never actually finished my degree at the University of Maryland.

I mean, Mark Zuckerburg never finished his degree either. So no worries, right?

You (have to) know I’m an alum of the school in College Park, and our buddy Chris Lombardi once nicknamed me “The Tradition” because of the old Navy football advertising slogan “tradition never graduates.”

I never got around to finishing my degree for a number of reasons. One was because I got my first (nearly) full-time job in radio and I was very distracted. I missed a number of classes because my radio mentors told me I should try to be at the station as much as possible. I was introducing Jimmy Eat World records late at night and recapping Terps basketball games during the day. I never wanted to leave.

The other issue I dealt with was a bit more personal. My parents offered me about two semesters worth of help (and I’m forever grateful to them for being able to help even that much) financially, and then I was on my own. I cleverly took cheaper classes concurrently at the Community College of Baltimore County (who actually gave me a “degree”, so I’ve got that going for me) for awhile, but ultimately struggled after shifting back to Maryland. I tried to finish my degree using the school’s “University College” program, but I was simply putting myself in much too significant debt while trying to begin my professional life.

Much like Alex Len, I was forced to make the tough choice to leave school early.

It’s nearly a guarantee you don’t care about any of my collegiate career, but if you stuck around I have a point to make.

I would have LOVED to have had the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland with tuition paid. I didn’t get that opportunity. I couldn’t catch a football, I couldn’t dunk a basketball, I most certainly couldn’t nail a behind the back bounce shot on the lacrosse field.

Former University of Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien WAS granted the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland on scholarship. He was given said scholarship because when he played quarterback in high school in North Carolina, former Terps Offensive Coordinator James Franklin and head coach Ralph Friedgen believed he could help them win football games and wanted to convince him to choose the school over other interested schools.

It’s important to point out that as someone who couldn’t really afford to finish my own degree at the same University of Maryland, I do not begrudge O’Brien one bit for being able to get his own without having to pay for it.

I don’t begrudge him one bit because as the quarterback of the football team, O’Brien had significant value at the University. He played a major role in helping the University make money, likely responsible for much more than the amount his three years of scholarship money added up to.

I reference this story because we found out this weekend that Danny O’Brien would be spending his final year of collegiate eligibility at Division II Catawba College this fall. It is a long fall from ACC Rookie of the Year (2010) and starting quarterback at the University of Wisconsin (2012).

The news was first reported by Scout.com Friday night and met with reaction that was quite surprising to me. Here are some of those reactions (including a bit of language) from the @WNST Twitter account…

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Former Maryland QB O’Brien transferring to Catawba College

Posted on 20 July 2013 by WNST Staff

Former University of Maryland and University of Wisconsin quarterback Danny O’Brien has found a new college home.

The former Terps and Badgers QB will spend his final season of eligibility at Division II Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. The news was first reported by Scout.com. O’Brien’s final college home will not be far from Kennersville, NC-where O’Brien played at East Forsyth High School.

O’Brien spent two years of eligibility with the Terrapins in 2010 and 2011, claiming ACC Freshman of the Year honors in 2010. O’Brien was 192/337 that season, throwing for 2,438 yards and 22 TD’s while helping to lead the Terps to their most recent bowl appearance, a win over East Carolina in the Military Bowl.

At the end of the 2010 season, then Maryland Offensive Coordinator/Head Coach in Waiting James Franklin left for the head coaching job at Vanderbilt and the school chose to successful head coach Ralph Friedgen. O’Brien chose to stay at Maryland for his sophomore season under new head coach Randy Edsall, finishing his degree at the University in the process. O’Brien began splitting time with fellow sophomore QB C.J. Brown before having his season cut short when suffering a broken arm in a blowout loss to Notre Dame.

After his sophomore season, O’Brien elected to take advantage of a NCAA rule that allowed graduate students to transfer without penalty  to a school that offers graduate programs not available at the previous University. O’Brien was originally blocked from seeking a transfer to Vanderbilt by Edsall, but then released to seek transfer to any non-ACC school. Edsall however did file a complaint accusing Franklin of having improper contact with O’Brien before the quarterback had decided to transfer.

Ultimately, O’Brien chose to transfer to Wisconsin. He played in just seven games during his junior season in 2012, being replaced both by freshman Joel Stave and later by senior Curt Phillips as then Badgers head coach Bret Bielema cited struggles with turnovers.

O’Brien was once viewed as a legitimate NFL prospect. Only a few former Indians have ever reached the NFL Draft, including former Baltimore Colts OT David Taylor (1973).

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Former Maryland quarterback O’Brien chooses Wisconsin as next school

Posted on 28 March 2012 by WNST Staff

After flirting with several other schools such as Penn State and Ole Miss, former Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien has decided to transfer to the University of Wisconsin, the school announced on Wednesday.

The 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year follows in the footsteps of Russell Wilson, who transferred from North Carolina State to Wisconsin and threw 33 touchdown passes and accumulated more than 3,000 passing yards for the Badgers last season. In a similar situation to O’Brien, Wilson was also a post-graduate transfer who did not have to sit out a season after enrolling in a graduate program not offered at his previous school.

O’Brien walks into an ideal situation to play immediately with the Badgers, who are dealing with injuries and a lack of depth at the quarterback position. He is scheduled to graduate in the spring, completing his undergraduate degree in only three seasons and leaving him with two years of eligibility to play Wisconsin.

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Former Maryland quarterback O’Brien granted permission to transfer to Vanderbilt

Posted on 22 February 2012 by WNST Staff

After initially prohibiting former starting quarterback Danny O’Brien from going to Vanderbilt, the University of Maryland has had a change of heart.

O’Brien will have the opportunity to join former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin if he so chooses after coach Randy Edsall had balked at the idea of the quarterback joining the Commodores. Offensive tackle Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson will also have the chance to transfer to Vanderbilt where Franklin led the program to a 6-7 record and an appearance in the Liberty Bowl in his first season. Vanderbilt is not schedule to play Maryland in the near future.

“While at first I thought it was important to limit the institutions to which they could transfer, I have since reconsidered my decision,” coach Randy Edsall said in a statement released by Maryland. “At the end of the day, I want what’s best for these guys and I wish them well in their futures. As a program we are looking forward to putting this distraction behind us and to moving forward.”

However, whether Franklin had improper contact with O’Brien remains in question as Maryland has reportedly filed a complaint with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The matter will be turned over to the SEC for further investigation.

Edsall’s transfer policy does not allow former players to transfer to other ACC schools or upcoming opponents outside the conference.

O’Brien is on track to graduate in the spring, leaving him two years of eligibility at the FBS level. If he elects to transfer to a school with a graduate program not offered at Maryland, O’Brien would be able to play immediately without having to sit out for a year.

Franklin was instrumental in O’Brien’s recruitment out of North Carolina, and the two shared a close relationship before Franklin’s departure to become the head coach at Vanderbilt in December 2010.


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Danny O’Brien Statement on Leaving Maryland

Posted on 14 February 2012 by WNST Staff

After careful thought, contemplation, prayer, and consultation with my family, we have come to a consensus that it is in my best interest to continue my educational and athletic endeavors elsewhere.

This was a very difficult decision, one which I did not take lightly. I will forever cherish the friendships of teammates, academic and athletic support staff, fellow students, professors, and of course Terp fans.

Playing at Byrd Stadium and experiencing college life in College Park will remain as unforgettable experiences for the rest of my life. I certainly wish nothing but the best to the team next season and for years to come.

I look forward to completing one of my established goals of graduating from the University of Maryland this spring and becoming a proud alumnus of this great institution.

Danny O’Brien

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O’Brien Joined By Garcia, Rowson in Leaving Terps

Posted on 13 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Garcia, O’Brien and Rowson to leave

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Head football coach Randy Edsall announced Monday that offensive lineman Max Garcia, quarterback Danny O’Brien and linebacker Mario Rowson requested and were granted their releases from the football program.

O’Brien played in nine games (seven starts) last season. The redshirt sophomore completed 150 of 266 passes for 1,648 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

He had 4,086 passing yards during his two years.

“I’m disappointed by Danny’s decision,” Edsall said. “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.”

Garcia, a sophomore, started all 12 games at left tackle in 2011. He played in just two games as a true freshman in 2010.

“Max showed great promise,” Edsall. “But after two seasons in College Park, Max is still homesick. He wants to transfer to a school closer to home (Norcross, Ga.) so his family can see him play.”

Rowson played in 11 games, including four starts, as a redshirt freshman in 2011. He posted 27 tackles, including three tackles for loss and one sack.

“Mario wants to play defensive back. Trouble is, we see Mario as a linebacker,” Edsall said. “I wish Mario well, where ever he decides to play.”

“Our primary mission is making our players the best students, the best athletes, and the best individuals they can be,” Edsall said. “Spring practice opens March 10.  All of the coaches and players are counting the days until we get back on the field. We have a lot to prove in 2012.”

– Terps –

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Terps' recruiting class gets even better with 5-star recruit Stefon Diggs

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Terps’ recruiting class gets even better with 5-star recruit Stefon Diggs

Posted on 10 February 2012 by Ryan Chell

There has not been a lot of things that have gone right for the University of Maryland since Randy Edsall took helm of the football program last year.

The team struggled to a 2-10 record, and amid criticism of Coach Edsall’s coaching style and hard-nosed approach, a complete recruiting class of over 25 student-athletes have left the program since the former UConn coach moved into Ralph Friedgen’s office.

But Friday night, one particular announcement may make troubled Terps fans feel a lot better-as five-star wide receiver Stefon Diggs-out of Our Lady of Good Counsel-committed to the University of Maryland in front of a large crowd at Looney’s Pub in College Park.

“We are very pleased to receive the commitment of Stefon,” Edsall said to the Washington Post. “He is an impact player who brings a playmaking ability that will enhance our team and certainly help us offensively. He is a great competitor and team player who loves to work every day and win. We are honored and happy to have him.”

Diggs (6’1, 190 lb)-the #2 rated WR prospect in the nation-had been considering offers from Florida, Auburn, and Ohio State over the last several weeks, and took his announcement past Signing Day, which was back on February 1st.

“A lot of people going to be mad at me,” Diggs said on his twitter page, @Marseanbaybee. “But oh well, gotta make the best decision for me.”

Diggs was rated as the 13th best prospect overall in the nation by ESPNU, and the top recruit coming out of the state of Maryland.

It was also believed that Diggs’ decision was made easier by the fact that fellow Good Counsel teammates in OL Mike Madaras and 3-star RB Wes Brown also decided to be Terps.

You can also decipher that new Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley had a tremendous pull in the local recruiting area-enough so to sell Diggs away from national championship contenders in Florida, Auburn, and Ohio State.

We were able to make some in roads in our prime recruiting areas of Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania,” Edsall said on Signing Day. “We got into some areas and schools which we haven’t been able to in a long time.”

Diggs was a two-time All-Metro selection in high school and is the reigning All-Met defensive player having played corner back as well.

With Diggs’ on board, Maryland has six of the top-18 players in the state staying home.

Diggs’ commitment might also impact the return of quarterback Danny O’Brien, who toured with the receiver on campus for his official visit. It was reported by NBC4 in Washington earlier this week that O’Brien was set to transfer, but O’Brien disputed that report on Twitter.

Follow WNST on Twitter for the latest developments on Maryland football! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!


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Terps quarterback O’Brien staying or going?

Posted on 08 February 2012 by WNST Staff

A bizarre pairing of events on Wednesday afternoon has only further clouded the future of Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien in College Park.

Less than an hour after Dan Hellie of NBC-TV 4 in Washington reported that O’Brien had informed head coach Randy Edsall he intended to transfer, the quarterback used his own Twitter account to shoot down the rumor.

“Contrary to rumor, I’m still a Terp,” O’Brien stated without any further elaboration.

Of course, the original report could still hold true, and O’Brien may simply want to delay announcing his decision until the end of the spring semester. After his redshirt sophomore season was cut short by a broken arm last November, O’Brien could wait to see how he fares in a quarterback competition with fellow junior-to-be C.J. Brown this spring before deciding on his future.

Edsall has said O’Brien would be limited in spring practice as he continues to recover from the fracture to his non-throwing arm.

After a successful 2010 season in which he was named ACC Rookie of the Year and threw 22 touchdowns to just eight interceptions while leading Maryland to a 9-4 record and a Military Bowl victory in Ralph Friedgen’s final year as head coach, O’Brien struggled to adjust to offensive coordinator Gary Crowton’s spread offense in 2011 and was eventually benched in favor of Brown. O’Brien had only seven touchdown passes and threw 10 interceptions before his season was cut short against Notre Dame on Nov. 12.

Edsall hired Mike Locksley as his new offensive coordinator after last season’s disastrous 2-10 campaign, and Maryland is expected to adopt a pro-style offense with spread components that would likely be more suited to O’Brien’s skill set than last year’s system.

Rumors have circulated for months that O’Brien would leave Maryland after losing his starting job and being forced to compete with Brown, but the North Carolina native has publicly supported Edsall and the program. If O’Brien would transfer, he would become the 11th player with eligibility remaining to leave the program since last season and 23rd overall since Edsall was hired in January 2011.

O’Brien has two years of eligibility remaining at Maryland.



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The 15-7-0 is Italian. It’s Pronounced FRA-GEE-LAY.

Posted on 26 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…


The ESPY Awards are an annual event put on by ESPN that you’ve never watched from start to finish despite the fact that the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” promotes them for about 6 months.

And since you likely won’t be watching next July, I’ll prevent the suspense. Jerome Simpson’s TD catch for the Cincinnati Bengals against the Arizona Cardinals Saturday wins SOMETHING.

As our own Brian Billick said on FOX, “you don’t get style points in the NFL but that oughtta be worth eight.”

Or more.

Oh, and don’t look now but Cincy is playing great football just before they welcome the Ravens to Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday with the fate of the AFC North hanging in the balance. I don’t want to talk about that right now though. Perhaps never.

2. You just can’t help but be thrilled for Jim Schwartz and the Detroit Lions.

As someone who roots for a baseball team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1997, I know a thing or two about what it must have felt like for fans in the Music City to watch their team clinch a Wild Card spot in the final moments of their win over the San Diego Chargers Saturday night…

The Bolts were finally eliminated from the playoffs, which you would assume will lead to Norv Turner’s firing. They may or may not have already interviewed Bill Cowher for Turner’s job, and Jon Gruden may or may not be next.

In the meantime, if you’re going to lose at least do it with amazing hair like SD DE Antonio Garay…

3. Kellen Moore and Boise State deserved much better than blowing out an Arizona State team that didn’t bother to try before Christmas in Las Vegas.

It was the final win of a record-setting career for the Broncos quarterback, it was just really unfortunate it happened in this venue instead of in a BCS bowl, as America would have enjoyed watching them play a team that actually gave a s**t…

The win came as rumors swirled that Penn State was interested in hiring BSU coach Chris Petersen. In a related story, I am interested in being hired by Saturday Night Live.

Petersen obviously is not interested in replacing Joe Paterno in State College. And if you were living as large as this dude is, why would you take ANY job?

4. Cam Newton totally Cam Newton’ed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday.

In the Carolina Panthers’ win over the Bucs Saturday, Newton broke National Football League records for rookie passing yards (Peyton Manning) and quarterback rushing touchdowns (Steve Grogan). He did it in pretty spectacular fashion…

Things couldn’t be worse for the Bucs. Head coach Raheem Morris apparently “sent home” DE Brian Price after getting a 15 yard personal foul call and the team’s freefall continued on toward what looks more and more likely to be Morris’ ultimate firing.

I kinda feel bad for them. Perhaps I should offer some of my mom (the great Karen Clark)’s holiday stuffed shells…

Kick rocks, ham.

5. I don’t know if David Akers’ record for the most field goals in a single season should be considered “significant”, but he owns it either way.

Akers broke the record with FIVE field goals in the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Seattle Seahawks, moving the Niners a step closer to clinching the Number 2 seed in the NFC.

The Seahawks’ slim postseason hopes may have disappeared, but Marshawn Lynch HAS THE GREATEST PAIR OF KICKS I HAVE EVER SEEN…

Perhaps Foster the People has a follow up ready?

But as amazing as they are, perhaps Under Armour & Brandon Jennings did one better with their “Rudolph” inspired kicks…

Okay…synthetic fur? I HAVE to get back into the shoe game.

6. You might have survived the insanity to get the Air Jordan XI Concords, but USC fans still got a better Christmas gift than you.

Matt Barkley returning to Southern California is confusing because we know he would have been a potential Top 5 pick in the NFL Draft, but we also know what could be ahead. Heisman Trophy, Pac 12 & BCS Championship hopes and bevies of hot chicks.

I mean, the guy can play Jason Mraz on the guitar. He must be dodging panties every day he walks around Los Angeles. Tough life there…

Of course, he’s also been filmed doing this…

7. I’ll ask for the 8th time. Can everyone please stop telling me about the New England Patriots’ defense?

With the Pats trailing the Miami Dolphins 17-0 at halftime Saturday, Facebook and Twitter were alive in Charm City with hopes of the Ravens still having a shot at the #1 seed in the AFC.

I however looked at my executive producer Ryan Chell and said “when Tom Brady decides to start playing I think they’ll be fine.”

They were. The Pats charged back from the halftime deficit to beat the Fins and are now a win away from clinching the #1 seed in the AFC. Apparently none of that is enough for owner Robert Kraft to get a high five…

Also, this looks like a good holiday film/way to make sure you don’t struggle in the red zone…

Of note for Miami, Reggie Bush remarkably ran for 100+ yards AGAIN in the defeat and we learned this weekend his mom does not want him to get back together with Kim Kardashian. That’s fine, I think Catalina Otalvaro would be a better catch anyway…

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Reports: Crowton out, Locksley in as Maryland offensive coordinator

Posted on 14 December 2011 by WNST Staff

With a plethora of players leaving the program, it now appears Maryland will make a significant change to its coaching staff with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton reportedly departing after one season on the job under head coach Randy Edsall.

The Maryland offensive attack was erratic throughout an abysmal 2-10 campaign in which it finished 89th in scoring offense and 68th in total offense as former ACC Freshman of the Year Danny O’Brien struggled adjusting to Crowton’s version of the spread offense.

Crowton had two years remaining on his contract and had expressed interest in the vacant Colorado State job last week before it was filled by Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain. He had previously served as a head coach at Brigham Young and Louisiana Tech and won a national title as offensive coordinator with LSU.

Maryland’s replacement at offensive coordinator may come in former New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley, who is in line to take the job, according to InsideMarylandSports.com. Locksley previously served as a Terps assistant from 1997 to 2002, coaching the running backs and serving as a recruiting coordinator.

Locksley was fired from his job at New Mexico in September after accumulating a disastrous 2-26 record in three seasons as coach of the Lobos.

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