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.