When Maryland announced that quarterback Danny O'Brien would be among the latest group to leave the football program, head coach Randy Edsall said he was "disappointed" in the decision. On Tuesday, O'Brien released a statement to the media regarding his decision to transfer.
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.
O'Brien's transfer release excludes all upcoming ACC opponents, upcoming non-conference opponents West Virginia and Temple, as well as Vanderbilt. Current Commodores' head coach James Franklin was offensive coordinator at Maryland during O'Brien's 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year campaign, and there is speculation the two have remained close while the quarterback pondered his future.
Franklin declined to comment Monday when asked if Danny O'Brien would transfer to Vanderbilt.
It is possible that O'Brien could appeal the Vanderbilt stipulation to the NCAA, though there has been no indication that will be the plan of action. The Washington Post reports that Mississippi, Arizona, South Florida, and East Carolina have all shown significant interest in O'Brien since the release was made official on Monday.
O'Brien's ideal system fit is likely a pro-style or West Coast offense. In addition to Vanderbilt, the Baltimore Sun listed Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Stanford as possible landing spots for the Kernersville, N.C. native.
As he mentioned in his statement, O'Brien is set to earn his undergraduate degree this spring from Maryland. That would make him eligible to play immediately if he enrolls in a graduate program not offered in College Park - the same rule allowing Russell Wilson to compete immediately for Wisconsin in 2011. With two years of eligibility remaining, O'Brien has become the latest college football free agent.
It is still too early in the process to predict O'Brien's destination, but he will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact wherever he lands.
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