Backup quarterback Danny O’Brien has decided to leave the Wisconsin Badgers program. O’Brien, who transferred from Maryland where he started the 2010 and 2011, started the Badgers’ 2012 season opener but struggled before conceding the position to Joel Stave.
O’Brien graduated from Maryland in three years and was eligible to play immediately following his transfer to Wisconsin. After having tremendous success with fifth year transfer Russell Wilson, the Badgers dipped into that well again, expecting O’Brien to be the starter at quarterback after two solid seasons playing in the ACC. That turned out to be the opposite of what happened as O’Brien completed 52-86 passes for 523 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He really struggled with ball security fumbling five times, losing three.
He still has one year of eligibility left, but it’s unclear whether he will continue his football career. He was given an opportunity to compete for the starting job by new head coach Ray Anderson but was outperformed by Stave and Curt Phillips. He was then listed third on the depth chart following spring practice, and the writing was on the wall.
Wisconsin shouldn’t feel much of a burden from his departure as Stave is only a sophomore and Phillips, a senior, is a veteran backup. The Badgers also have former four star recruit redshirt freshman Bart Houston on the roster to provide depth and also have four star recruit Tanner McEvoy arriving for fall practice.