It seemed like it was only a matter of time before a few players were booking their tickets out of Lincoln following the arrival of new coach Scott Frost and quarterback Patrick O’Brien became the biggest name to leave the program on Thursday after announcing via Twitter that he had received his release from the school.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore was far from the type of dual-threat quarterback that Frost is looking for to run his new spread offense and seemed like a good bet to wind up transferring as soon as the change was made away from Mike Riley’s more pro-style attack.
“Pat’s a good athlete, but I think the other three (quarterbacks in practice) are a little more capable of moving the ball with their feet,” the head coach told The Omaha World-Herald after practice. “They’ve just kind of passed him. We want what’s best for all these guys. I really do think he’d be better suited to a more traditional-style offense. That’s what he was recruited here to do, and then the offense changed. We’re on his side and we’re going to support him.”
The former four-star recruit probably won’t take long to find a home on the transfer market but it does appear as though he will have to sit out the 2018 season at whatever program he decides to join.
O’Brien’s departure narrows down the field to replace former starter Tanner Lee for the Cornhuskers. Tristan Gebbia and Adrian Martinez are the only two scholarship signal-callers available to play in the 2018 season, while walk-on Andrew Bunch has received reps this spring. Redshirt freshman Noah Vedral followed Frost to Nebraska from Central Florida but has to sit out the upcoming campaign due to transfer rules so 2019 is the earliest he could see time.