Oh to be a quarterback at a Division I college in the NCAA. One would think the opportunity of playing, let alone starting, at any school in the collegiate level would be all together gratifying, satisfying and an honor. For Danny O’Brien, finding an institution that sticks seems to be a college course in and of itself.
Having played two years at the University of Maryland in 2010 and 2011, O’Brien transferred to the University of Wisconsin for the 2012 season. (He was enrolled at Maryland in 2009, but was redshirted and did not see any playing time). However his career at Wisconsin would be short lived. He was named the starter for Wisconsin's season opener against the Northern Iowa Panthers, but was replaced early in the year, by redshirt freshman, Joel Stave. This was due to problems with turnovers as cited by then coach, Bret Bielema. Even after Stave suffered a season-ending injury during the October 27 game against the Michigan State Spartans, O'Brien remained the backup behind fifth-year senior, Curt Phillips.
Now O’Brien has left Wisconsin, looking for a new home for his last year of eligibility. This comes less than one year after having arrived at Wisconsin as the team’s starting quarterback. He has reportedly left the program with his football future very much in doubt. If he transfers to another school, he will play under his fourth different coach in as many years.
Todd Willert, O’Brien’s former high school coach at East Forsyth in North Carolina, had this to say, “He's a great kid. He'll find something. I really don't know what his plans are right now. If it's to keep pursuing football, obviously he still has one year of eligibility left. I'm sure if it's to pursue football, he'll be very successful in that. Whatever he does, he'll be successful in. He's just that kind of kid.”
O'Brien came to Wisconsin with much fanfare and was hailed by some as a program-saving quarterback. This coming after the departure of Russell Wilson in 2011, who produced one of the best single seasons in Wisconsin football history. Now no one knows where O’Brien will attend school next season, if at all.