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June 9, 2008

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.”

Click here for East Forsyth coach Todd Willert's take on O'Brien.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:07 AM | | Comments (2)
        

Comments

I think Danny O'Brien has a tremendous upside and could become a solid pocket-passer in Franklin's system.

He doesn't possess the rocket arm, the lightning speed, or size sported by some of the premier quarterback prospects. However his stellar leadership qualities and intelligence could vault him someday as the number one qb in the Terps system.

What I like most is that he loves being a Terp.

Welcome aboard Danny!

Not that I'm unexcited about getting a solid recruit, but this kid is nuts. "Great college town"? As a recent graduate, I can attest to that being about as far from the mark as you can get. Let's hope he passes more accurately.

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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Area high school commitments -- 2009
Area high school commitments -- 2008
Maryland's 2011 football commitments
Maryland's 2010 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2008 football recruiting class
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