Danny O’Brien confirmed earlier this week that he would continue his collegiate playing career at Wisconsin this season, a move that came a handful of weeks after deciding to transfer from Maryland.
As it turns out, his blindside protector in 2011 could be joining him in Madison in 2012 as well. Maybe.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former Terps offensive tackle Max Garcia has four of his five “finalists” locked in — Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss and USC (the West Coast school, not the East Coast one). Garcia has either visited two of those schools — UGA, Ole Miss — this month and will visit the other two in the coming days.
For the fifth of his five allotted official visits, the Journal-Constitution reports, Garcia is deciding between Clemson, Vanderbilt and, yes, Wisconsin.
While Terps head coach Randy Edsall said the reasoning behind Garcia’s desire to transfer was he was homesick and wanted to play closer to home — he hails from Norcross, GA — it appears the lineman is more than willing to consider schools further north or much further west. Perhaps most importantly, he has mom’s blessing to consider the Badgers and Trojans.
“Although USC and Wisconsin are further away from home, I spoke with my mother, who has a great role in my decision … and she ultimately wants me to be happy,” Garcia told the paper.
“Going through the recruiting process, you never know who’s going to be interested in you. I initially wanted to get closer to home but I cannot just pass on tremendous opportunities because of my initial feeling. Both programs offer an ideal opportunity academically and athletically that all the other programs I’m interested in do as well.”
It’s long been thought that Georgia was the front-runner for his services, with Florida running a close second as well. Then again, it was thought Vanderbilt, and then Penn State, were virtual locks for O’Brien before the quarterback ultimately surprised some with his choice of the Badgers.
Garcia, who hopes to have a decision made before the end of April, started 12 games at left tackle for the Terps in 2011, and would have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2012 season.
(Tip O’ the Cap: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)