With Russell Wilson headed to the National Football League, the Badgers’ search for their 2012 quarterback is on. Although there has been little formal discussion, there is a possibility the Badgers could look down the same road they did with Russell Wilson and find another transfer quarterback to command the offense. The highest profile transfer quarterback who, like Wilson, has completed his degree and could therefore step in immediately in 2012 is Maryland graduate Danny O’Brien, who I profiled here.
Since then, Maryland has granted O’Brien a full release from his scholarship. Originally, Maryland head coach granted O’Brien a limited release with the restriction that he could not transfer to Vanderbilt, the new team of former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin. However, O’Brien isn’t able to talk to Vanderbilt — the presumed frontrunner due to the connections between O’Brien and Franklin — as Maryland has filed a complaint alleging Vanderbilt of tampering with O’Brien. There appears to be a decent amount of red tape and NCAA bureaucracy to filter through for O’Brien, so it may be some time before this side of the story gets a resolution.
That seems to eliminate Vanderbilt from the discussion for now, but considering Wilson didn’t make his transfer decision until June last year, it is far too early to count Franklin’s Commodores out entirely. In the meantime, it appears a rather large host of schools will be competing for his services. O’Brien will start planning official visits soon — at least three according to the Washington Post (as linked above). At least a dozen schools are in on O’Brien in some sense according to another piece from the Post from at least three different conferences, including the Big Ten.
The University of Wisconsin has yet to be explicitly involved in this story, but if Wilson’s recruitment was any indication, we have at least four months to go before we get any resolution. At the least, O’Brien’s situation is worth keeping an eye on as Jon Budmayr and Bart Houston prepare for spring practices.