Posted by Chip Patterson
One of the many twists and turns in the transfer of Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien has been the reported stipulation that prevents O'Brien from accepting financial aid from Vanderbilt. It is common for hopeful transfers to be blocked from future opponents - O'Brien also cannot accept aid from future ACC opponents, West Virginia, and Temple - but the Commodores are not currently on any future Terrapins schedule.
No Maryland officials, including head coach Randy Edsall, have elaborated on why Vanderbilt is not an acceptable landing place for O'Brien, but it is likely because of former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin. Franklin was O'Brien's offensive coordinator, and thought to be a candidate to replace Ralph Friedgen, before accepting the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. Speaking to a local radio station, Franklin addressed the allegations regarding his involvement in O'Brien's departure.
“I don’t like innuendos and comments being made about tampering and things like that,” Franklin told 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. “You guys know me. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players. I hope to have relationships with the guys that play for me for the rest of my life.
“But the fact that people would make accusations that we tampered or did this or did that, again, I’m just going to defend our program and defend our character and how we do things. But I think it’s ridiculous to think that I’m not going to have relationships with these kids after I leave places.”
Todd Willert, O'Brien's high school coach, told CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman he expects the quarterback's family to appeal Edsall's reported restriction in order to have the option to transfer to Vanderbilt.
"I believe they will," said Willert. "This weekend, Danny and his family will sort through everything. They think (Vandy) should be an option but I don't know exactly what they'll decide. It should be an option for him. Just be fair to everybody. Danny has no ill will towards anybody."
O'Brien is set to earn his undergraduate degree from Maryland this spring, and will be eligible to compete immediately as long as he enrolls in a graduate program not offered in College Park. It is the same transfer rule that allowed Russell Wilson to compete right away at Wisconsin. Unlike Wilson, O'Brien will still have two full years of eligibility once he joins a program.
Willert told CBSSports.com there has been a lot of interest, but would not reveal what schools have attempted to contact O'Brien. In addition to Vanderbilt; Stanford, Michigan State, Wisconsin, East Carolina, and Ole Miss are all believed to be in the mix.
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