Not much of a surprise here.
Maryland transfer quarterback Danny O’Brien will be the starter in Madison this season for Wisconsin. Badgers head coach Bret Bielema announced his decision on who would lead his team via Twitter Sunday night.
Bielema tweeted, “Both Curt and Joel had great camps as well, we are very fortunate that we have 3 QB’s that can play winning football for us.”
Bielema was referring to redshirt senior Curt Phillips and redshirt freshman Joel Stave who O’Brien ultimately beat out to be named the starter.
O’Brien started most of the past two season while at Maryland and is eligible to play immediately because he enrolled at Wisconsin as a graduate student. He’ll try to mimic what Russell Wilson did last season.
Bielema’s decision is a smart one. The Badgers can now focus on their number one unit and develop the chemistry they need before the season begins versus Northern Iowa at Camp Randall on Sept. 1. With Montee Ball returning for his senior season, O’Brien will have a dependable back he can rely on to make him right.
The Badgers will be the favorite in the Big Ten Leaders division with both Ohio State and Penn State unable to be eligible for the postseason. Purdue and Illinois will be the next two teams expected to challenge Wisconsin.
There’s some pressure on O’Brien’s side as he takes over for Wilson. The Badgers have a strong group returning on both sides of the ball including a massive offensive line O’Brien has to be excited about.
It will be important for him not to try and do too much.
Having a Heisman Trophy finalist in the backfield will help.
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.