Highly-regarded junior quarterback Danny O’Brien has decided today to transfer to Wisconsin, saying the Badgers give him a better chance of immediate success than Penn State.
O’Brien was the ACC Rookie of the Year at Maryland in 2010 before he and the Terps struggled last year under new head coach Randy Edsall (Susquehannock High).
O’Brien announced his decision to transfer last month, then made recruiting visits to Penn State, Wisconsin and Ole Miss. He also strongly considered Vanderbilt, where former Maryland assistant James Franklin now coaches.
O’Brien came back to Penn State Monday to watch the first day of spring practice. He borrowed a Penn State jacket on the cold, windy day, and pictures of him created a stir among Penn State Nation.
He decided on Wisconsin today and the university’s athletic web site announced the news not long after.
“In the end, there’s a little more depth and a little more certainty at Wisconsin,” said Todd Willert, O’Brien’s high school coach in North Carolina.
Specifically, Willert pointed to Penn State’s lack of depth at running back and along the offensive line.
His decision comes after starting to develop a positive relationship with new Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien.
“Danny was blown away by the Penn State coaching staff,” Willert said. “Danny and I talked a long time about Coach O’Brien. Danny loves him to death. (His decision) has nothing to do with that part of things.
“Maybe if (Danny) was a little younger, he might have went the other way.”
Because he will earn his undergraduate degree this spring, Danny O’Brien will be eligible to play this fall with two seasons of college ball remaining.
He and the Badgers will travel to Beaver Stadium for the regular-season finale on Nov. 24.