O’Brien discusses his UM commitment
Danny O’Brien knew where he stood with the Maryland football staff from the start.
The Kernersville (N.C.) East Forsyth quarterback was told about the commitment of Seneca Valley, Pa., dual-threat C.J. Brown. And O’Brien knew he wasn’t the only quarterback prospect UM was considering for its second spot in the class.
“Some schools are going to tell you what you want to hear and you can sift through that,” O’Brien said. “But Maryland was taking two [quarterbacks] this year, so they didn’t mess around and say I was their [only] guy. They said they offered many people and were going to take two, so they’ve been honest through the whole process, which is really meaningful to me because I don’t want to play for coaches that aren’t up-front with me.”
That honesty paid off for the Terps when O’Brien offered his verbal commitment late last week, becoming the third member of Maryland’s 2009 recruiting class.
O’Brien, 6 feet 3 ½ and 200 pounds, had visited College Park for a junior day event and the team’s spring game earlier this year. He was impressed with what he saw, but before he could make a final decision, he wanted to visit one more time with his mother, stepfather and high school head coach along for the ride.
“They were impressed with it thoroughly,” O’Brien said. “They didn’t know what to expect, but they came away just as impressed as I was and everyone was very impressed with the visit. … It’s just a real nice college town, close to DC and Baltimore, so it’s a great area. The atmosphere is real great there on game days, so I’m real excited to get there.”
O’Brien, who chose Maryland over offers from Duke and East Carolina, and serious interest from Wake Forest and Virginia, will most likely redshirt his freshman season at UM, with Chris Turner and Josh Portis as the veteran quarterbacks on the roster. In 2010, O’Brien can potentially compete with Brown, Jamarr Robinson and Tyler Bass for the starting job. O’Brien said he’ll embrace the competition.
“Any major DI place you go, there’s going to be competition,” O’Brien said. “The opportunity is there. I’m just going to come and compete and let the cards fall where they may as far as playing time.”
Maryland became interested in O’Brien in late May after offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Franklin saw him throw at his school during an open period for recruiting. O’Brien said Franklin saw him on a Thursday and then called the next day to offer a scholarship. He said he looks forward to studying under Franklin when he arrives in College Park.
“We can talk about anything,” O’Brien said of his relationship with Franklin. “It doesn’t even have to be football. We’ve developed a pretty good relationship and it’s only going to get stronger over my senior year until I get up there.”
As a junior at East Forsyth, O’Brien threw for nearly 1,900 yards and 16 touchdowns, in addition to rushing for seven scores. The team finished 5-6 with a loss in the first round of the playoffs.
With his commitment made, O’Brien said now he’ll be able to focus entirely on preparing for his senior season.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it feels good being done with everything and being comfortable,” O’Brien said. “And I’m really pumped to be a Terp.”