Badgers land former Maryland QB O'Brien

Apr. 3, 2012
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Taking advantage of the same rule that allowed Russell Wilson to come to UW from NC State last season, quarterback Danny O'Brien will be transferring from Maryland to Wisconsin andwill not have to sit out a season.

The Badgers were once again in an unsure state at quarterback. Curt Phillips is the heir apparent, but ongoing shoulder and arm issues have left him with an uncertain future. Unable to get feeling in his arm and elbow, doctors have also been unable to diagnose the problem. He's gone through surgery and likely won't be ready to lead a team in August. 

It seems the other QBs aren't even in the conversation. The article on seems to assume that O'Brien will be the starter once the season starts - it talks to him about the pressure to lead the team back to the Rose Bowl.

Those looking at O'Brien and seeing shades of Wilson need to know that the similarities stop at the fact that he's also transfering from the ACC.

Where Wilson was mobile and athletic, O'Brien is more a pocket-passer who should fit well into Wisconsin's run-heavy offense. In fact, part of the reason he lost his starting job and which eventually led to his wanting to leave is their move to a spread offense.

O'Brien will graduate Maryland in May and hopes to be in Madison by June to start the school's conditioning program and also log time in the film room - apparently the place he's most comfortable.

Despite his currect East Coast roots, O'Brien grew up in Minneapolis and has friends and family in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

He says he eventually chose Wisconsin over schools like Penn State and Vanderbilt because he felt he fit in with the coaches and players and felt a rappore in the film room.

While most will remember the Wilson experiment fondly, ultimately I still think the Badgers failed to meet most of their goals, losing once again in the Rose Bowl. Stupid losses put them out of the National Championship picture that they rightly had a chance at.

While these short-term quarterbacks may be successful for the program, I wonder if they will have a negative effect on the recruiting process at QB. Each of these other QBs was recruited and told they'd have a chance to compete for the starting job and now for two years theyve been usurped by outsiders. I would think that recruits will be worried that they'll be passed over for flashier one-year players and may not get their shot.


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