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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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“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.
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.”
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.
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…
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?
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…
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…
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…
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.
As Drew Forrester has said here at WNST.net, Randy Edsall is going to be the football coach at the University of Maryland in 2012.
The #FIREEDSALL trend on Twitter is certainly alive and John Feinstein absolutely shredded the coach this week in the Washington Post, but neither will have an effect on his job status.
Despite a 2-10 record in Edsall’s first season with the Terrapins, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson has every intention to stick with the man he hired after firing 10 year head coach and Maryland alum Ralph Friedgen nearly a year ago.
He’ll be doing that for a few reasons.
The first of those reasons is because no one is fairly considering how significant a role injuries played in the team’s downfall. The team was decimated by injuries throughout the season, forcing defensive coordinator Todd Bradford to turn to a number of redshirt and even true freshmen throughout the season. Competing for an ACC Championship was a tough task to begin with, but nearly impossible as injuries mounted.
It of course doesn’t forgive the nature of how the team finished with just one win over an opponent at the FBS level (their season opening Labor Day victory over a depleted Miami squad), but it has to be considered.
Another of the reasons why Edsall will return is well known. Maryland is in a LOT of financial trouble at the moment. The athletic department is on the verge of cutting eight varsity teams due to financial issues and has admitted that the football program must generate more money to sustain the 17 programs that will remain. With Edsall only one year into a six year deal worth $12 million, Maryland does not have the financial ability to get out from under such a costly deal.
The notion that Under Armour CEO/Maryland alum Kevin Plank could pony up the $10 million necessary to buy out Edsall is preposterous. Plank has become one of the most successful businessmen on the face of the planet buy making good decisions. Giving away $10 million wouldn’t qualify as such a thing.
(Just to inject here. There have been some rumors that Edsall would be a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars opening after the team fired Jack Del Rio. I think we can move on from those rumors about as quickly as they appeared.)
But money and injuries are not the only reasons why Randy Edsall will remain as the school’s football coach. The more significant reason why Edsall will not be let go by the school is because coaches who receive six year deals just aren’t dismissed after one season.
When Anderson hired Edsall away from the University of Connecticut, he absolutely did not tell him “if you leave the Huskies, you’ll have one year to make things work in College Park.”
Had Anderson done such a thing, Edsall’s response would have been something along the lines of “I would never leave UConn. UConn is my dream job.”
It’s safe to say that when hiring Edsall, Anderson made it clear the former Connecticut coach would be able to build his program as necessary, despite the success the team celebrated (nine wins including a Military Bowl victory, ACC Rookie of the Year in QB Danny O’Brien) the season before his arrival.
As Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant pointed out this week, there were reasons to believe Edsall’s reputation in Storrs exceeded his actual accomplishments. During an appearance on “The Reality Check” Wednesday on AM1570 WNST.net, Jacobs referred to something he had written in January just after Edsall’s departure from the area…
There was something unnervingly self-serving in Randy Edsall’s words in the month leading up to his BCS Bowl spanking. As he talked about all the milestones the program has reached since the days of working out of the trailers, Edsall wondered if there were any more notches in the belt he could cut at UConn.
The answer to Edsall’s question about notches in the belt, of course, was there were plenty left. And we’re not talking pie-in-the-sky national title. For starters, how about an outright Big East championship? Or how about getting to a BCS Bowl game where you aren’t automatically penciled in as a hopeless underdog the moment you qualify for it.”
I don’t know what’s more embarrassing for New York Jets fans-the fact that Mark Sanchez was eaten alive by some dude named Rob Nankovich or that Deion Branch owned Fireman Ed after catching a touchdown…
Rob effing Nankovich. A dude named Rob Nankovich just played hero for the New England Patriots. Maybe Bill Belichick really is better than the rest of us.
It’s crazy how much the Niners are different under Jim Harbaugh. Justin Smith is playing like a Defensive Player of the Year, Carlos Rogers is playing like a capable National Football League cornerback and Alex Smith…wait, Alex Smith is still playing semi-respectable football? No way…
I’m trying to put a Ravens-related spin on some of the things in the 15-7-0 this week. For example, the 49ers are a GOOD team, so when they play the Ravens on Thanksgiving we can be certain the Ravens will win, right?
Let me get this straight. The Cowboys beat the Bills 44-7 and after the game the only thing anyone was talking about was the ONE Bills TD???
The story is that Bills WR David Nelson caught a TD and then gave the ball to his girlfriend Kelsi Reich, who is a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. This is a fantastic reason for me to post a picture of Kelsi Reich…