Quarterback Danny O’Brien is transferring from Maryland.
Why is this significant for Vanderbilt?
Because, in 2010 as a freshman, O’Brien earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors under the tutelage of then-offensive coordinator James Franklin, who is in his second year as the Commodores' head coach.
The Washington Post, however, is reporting that Maryland head coach Randy Edsall did not clear O’Brien, and fellow transfers offensive lineman Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson, to transfer to Vanderbilt. That uncommon stipulation does not completely eliminate the possibility that he ultimately could join the Commodores, though.
Franklin did not immediately return a phone call on Tuesday.
“I am disappointed by Danny’s decision,” Edsall said in a statement released on Monday. “Danny told me that he is not committed to our program, that he is not ‘all in.’ I want what’s best for all of our players. Danny wants a fresh start elsewhere. I wish him well.”
O’Brien, who redshirted in 2009, plans to stay at Maryland and graduate this spring. He has two years of eligibility remaining and, since he is graduating, he will not have to sit out a year due to transfer rules.
In Edsall’s first year as head coach, O’Brien played in nine games. He completed 56.4 percent of his passes for 1,648 yards and seven touchdowns, with 10 interceptions. He did not start the last two games of Maryland’s 2-10 season.
In 2010, he was 7-3 in 10 starts with 22 touchdowns, eight interceptions and 2,438 passing yards.
“After careful thought, contemplation, prayer and consultation with my family, we have come to a consensus that is in my best interest to continue my educational and athletic endeavors elsewhere,” O’Brien said in a statement. “This was a very difficult decision, one which I did not take lightly.”
Competition for next year’s starting quarterback job at Vanderbilt is already crowded.
Jordan Rodgers, who started the last seven games of the 2011 season, returns for his senior season. Wyoming transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels and incoming freshman Patton Robinette, a Maryville standout, will give him chase.