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Danny O’Brien signs with Badgers

Danny O'Brien AP

UPDATED 1: 23 p.m. ET: Of course, a short time after our previous update, Wisconsin confirmed via a press release that Danny O’Brien has indeed signed with the Badgers.

And, like he did upon Russell Wilson signing with UW last year, head coach Bret Bielema said the starting quarterback job has not been promised to O’Brien.

(Writer’s note: wink wink, nudge nudge)

“We’re excited that Danny has chosen to attend Wisconsin,” Bielema said in a statement. “The first thing we did when we were aware of Danny’s interest was to try and find out what type of person he was and if he would fit into our program. From our dealings with him and all the things I have heard from those who have been around him, he is a tremendous person and has great character. He had a fantastic visit and our current players who met him came away impressed. Having graduated from Maryland in just three years, you know right away that he is a smart kid.

“As is the case with any player who joins our program, we have not promised Danny anything other than the chance to come in during the fall and compete for the starting quarterback position. He understands that and is excited for that opportunity.”

The release also confirmed that O’Brien will be eligible to play immediately for the Badgers.  After graduating from Maryland in May, O’Brien will attend graduate school at UW beginning in the fall.


UPDATED 1: 11 p.m. ET: A Wisconsin source confirmed to CFT a short time ago that “an announcement on a personnel matter” would be forthcoming from the school “within the next 24 hours or so.”

One current member of the Badgers however, didn’t feel like waiting that long to publicly welcome his new teammate.

“Danny o brien just messaged me this.. ‘let’s do this‘… it shall be done then my man,” running back Montee Ball tweeted shortly after 1 p.m. ET.


Well, based on the speculation from earlier this week, this certainly qualifies as at least a minor upset.

Citing a college football source, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that former Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brienis poised to transfer to Wisconsin.”  O’Brien visited the Madison school this past weekend, one of at least four known visits to three different schools this month.

Two of those visits were to Penn State, one of which took place Monday and led some to speculate that new head coach Bill O’Brien and the Nittany Lions had suddenly become the front-runners for the QB’s services.

In addition to Wisconsin and Penn State, O’Brien has also visited Ole Miss since announcing his transfer from the Terps.  Somewhat surprisingly, and at least based on what’s been leaked publicly, O’Brien has not taken a visit to Vanderbilt.  The Commodores were far and away viewed as the “leaders” for the player, if for nothing more than the extensive relationship with head coach James Franklin.

O’Brien’s high school coach told CFT nearly three weeks ago that his former player would likely make his choice by mid-April, or late that month at the latest.  A voicemail left for the coach seeking comment on this reported development has not been returned, although a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CFT that a final decision has indeed been made.

The source would not divulge the specific name of the school.  Based on the Journal-Sentinel‘s report, however, things are looking good for the Russell Wilson-less UW Badgers.

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9 Responses to “Danny O’Brien signs with Badgers”
  1. metalhead65 says: Mar 28, 2012 1:08 PM

    but more importantly does he have a close relationship with his parents? that way should would one of them get a job in the state of wisconsin it would enable him to play right away and not sit out a year because they are such a close family. oh wait I forgot that only applies if you choose to go to dame.

  2. nightman13 says: Mar 28, 2012 1:59 PM

    I never thought there would be a chance he went to Penn St since it’s going to be a 3 ring circus there for a while. But after this weekend, it sure looked likely.

  3. dkhhuey says: Mar 28, 2012 3:07 PM

    Can’t wait until he meets the Buckeye defense!!! Welcome to the big 10 son!!!

  4. thraiderskin says: Mar 28, 2012 3:43 PM

    Great, another starting quarterback from some other program just falls in the lap of Bielema.

  5. tommyf15 says: Mar 28, 2012 4:44 PM

    It’s important to remember that O’Brien is NOT Russell Wilson.

    Wilson was ACC player of the year before transferring to Wisconsin, unlike O’Brien who played poorly and was benched.

    Not saying O’Brien can’t bounce back- he had a tremendous freshman season in 2010- but again, he’s NOT Russell Wilson.

  6. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Mar 28, 2012 5:14 PM

    So now he’ll get to live every little boys dream of “losing the Rose Bowl” because your coach can’t manage the clock or make in game adjustments.

    Good Luck Danny, you probably should have talked to Scott or Russell about what it’s like to walk off the field at “The Grandy Daddy of them all” with nothing to show for it, except a special bowl game edition jersey.

  7. beedubyatoo says: Mar 28, 2012 5:31 PM

    Good news for the Badgers, bad news for the little 11.

  8. bozosforall says: Mar 28, 2012 8:19 PM

    Wisconsin becoming the Minnesota Vikings/New York Jets (recycling other teams’ QBs) of the NCAA. Kind of funny given that I’ve seen several Packers fans criticizing both of those NFL teams for engaging in that sort of QB shuffling.

  9. 1buckeye76 says: Mar 28, 2012 10:39 PM

    O’Brien chooses to go to wisconsin? there has to be something illegal about that…

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