Tag:Baltimore Sun
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:41 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Danny O'Brien free to transfer to Vanderbilt



Posted by Chip Patterson


Former Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien will no longer be restricted from transferring to Vanderbilt, the school announced on Wednesday.

The Baltimore Sun first reported Wednesday that Danny O'Brien, offensive lineman Max Garcia, and linebacker Mario Rowson are all no longer restricted from accepting aid from Vanderbilt to play football. When the trio was released from their scholarship, they were reportedly restricted from transferring to any future ACC opponents, West Virginia, Temple, and Vanderbilt.

More On O'Brien

The school released an official statement from head coach Randy Edsall.

“While at first I thought it was important to limit the institutions to which they could transfer, I have since reconsidered my decision” Edsall said in a statement. “At the end of the day, I want what’s best for these guys and I wish them well in their futures.

“As a program we are looking forward to putting this distraction behind us and to moving forward. Spring practice opens on March 10 and we can’t wait to get back out on the field.”

All of those schools, except the Commodores, are slated to appear on Maryland's schedule in the near future. Vanderbilt was reportedly added because of concerns with head coach James Franklin, the former offensive coordinator at Maryland under Ralph Friedgen.

“I am pleased to be able to move on and pursue a graduate degree and continue my athletic career at the school of my choosing.” O’Brien said in a statement. “I would like to thank Coach Edsall for his support throughout this process.”

According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland believes that O'Brien had been in contact with Franklin, possibly violating NCAA tampering rules. The school has opted to allow the three players to transfer, but has filed an official complaint against Vanderbilt through the ACC.

“We have been informed by the Southeastern Conference that the Atlantic Coast Conference has filed a formal complaint involving Vanderbilt University football on behalf of one of its members," Vanderbilt vice chancellor of athletics David Williams said in an official statement. "We are complying with SEC and Vanderbilt procedures and are conducting an investigation on the matter.”

James Franklin denied tampering allegations in an apperance on Nashville radio last week.

“I don’t like innuendos and comments being made about tampering and things like that,” Franklin told 104.5 The Zone. “You guys know me. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players. I hope to have relationships with the guys that play for me for the rest of my life.

“But the fact that people would make accusations that we tampered or did this or did that, again, I’m just going to defend our program and defend our character and how we do things. But I think it’s ridiculous to think that I’m not going to have relationships with these kids after I leave places.”

In addition to Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Stanford have all been listed as possible landing spots for O'Brien. Last week, The Washington Post reported that Mississippi, Arizona, South Florida, and East Carolina have all shown interest in O'Brien immediately following the transfer announcement.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:46 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 10:52 am
 

What's next for former Maryland QB Danny O'Brien?

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Maryland announced that quarterback Danny O'Brien would be among the latest group to leave the football program, head coach Randy Edsall said he was "disappointed" in the decision. On Tuesday, O'Brien released a statement to the media regarding his decision to transfer.

After careful thought, contemplation, prayer, and consultation with my family, we have come to a consensus that it is in my best interest to continue my educational and athletic endeavors elsewhere.  This was a very difficult decision, one which I did not take lightly. I will forever cherish the friendships of teammates, academic and athletic support staff, fellow students, professors, and of course Terp fans.

Playing at Byrd Stadium and experiencing college life in College Park will remain as unforgettable experiences for the rest of my life. I certainly wish nothing but the best to the team next season and for years to come.  I look forward to completing one of my established goals of graduating from the University of Maryland this spring and becoming a proud alumnus of this great institution.

Danny O’Brien

O'Brien's transfer release excludes all upcoming ACC opponents, upcoming non-conference opponents West Virginia and Temple, as well as Vanderbilt. Current Commodores' head coach James Franklin was offensive coordinator at Maryland during O'Brien's 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year campaign, and there is speculation the two have remained close while the quarterback pondered his future.

Franklin declined to comment Monday when asked if Danny O'Brien would transfer to Vanderbilt.

It is possible that O'Brien could appeal the Vanderbilt stipulation to the NCAA, though there has been no indication that will be the plan of action. The Washington Post reports that Mississippi, Arizona, South Florida, and East Carolina have all shown significant interest in O'Brien since the release was made official on Monday.

O'Brien's ideal system fit is likely a pro-style or West Coast offense. In addition to Vanderbilt, the Baltimore Sun listed Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Stanford as possible landing spots for the Kernersville, N.C. native.

As he mentioned in his statement, O'Brien is set to earn his undergraduate degree this spring from Maryland. That would make him eligible to play immediately if he enrolls in a graduate program not offered in College Park - the same rule allowing Russell Wilson to compete immediately for Wisconsin in 2011. With two years of eligibility remaining, O'Brien has become the latest college football free agent.

It is still too early in the process to predict O'Brien's destination, but he will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact wherever he lands.

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Report: Terps struggling with coaching transition



Posted by Chip Patterson


Maryland head coach Randy Edsall has had a rocky start to his first year in College Park. The Terps started hot, with flashy jerseys and a big opening win against Miami in front of a national audience. But the Terps followed that victory with a pair of losses in front of the home crowd, including an embarrassing 38-7 rout at the hands of Temple. Edsall has been very adamant about team discipline, already suspending offensive standouts Ronnie Tyler, Quintin McCree, and D.J. Adams at times this season for violation of team rules. He does not allow ball caps, do-rags, or earrings around the football complex, and has stressed that his first priority as head coach is to change the culture around Maryland.

Jeff Barker, of The Baltimore Sun had an interesting take on the rocky start and transition to Edsall's style of coaching. Below is an excerpt from the column.
"It's up and down. It's been a roller coaster," said quarterback Danny O'Brien, whose red T-shirt on Tuesday bore the team's slogan - 'No Excuses. Just Play.' - in white lettering. "In one month, we've experienced a lot of highs and a lot of lows already. I think that's going to be good for us. We've already experienced a lot of adversity as a team."

O' Brien called Edsall "a great leader.

But not everybody is on board. One prominent veteran player said privately that Edsall's strict style doesn't allow individuals to be themselves and that he's looking forward to the season's end. Another veteran player has sought advice about dealing with Edsall from Friedgen who was dismissed in December with one year remaining on his contract.

"A lot of guys are making a rough transition to the way Randy Edsall wants to run things," said former Maryland receiver Emani Lee-Odai, who keeps in touch with the current Terps players.

Former coach Ralph Friedgen made headlines last week with his comment on the radio regarding his distaste for the current Maryland administration, and his wife was recently welcomed warmly on a visit to the team. It is not unreasonable to be concerned with the players' commitment to the new head coach.

ESPN.com's Heather Dinich questioned if Friedgen had become a distraction to the team during the ACC's weekly coaches' teleconference, and Edsall predictably dodged the topic. But how long will he have to deal with Friedgen's looming presence in College Park? In addition to being the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year, Friedgen played offensive guard for the Terps and spent two different stints on the staff before taking over as head coach in 2001. In ten seasons he went to seven bowls with a 5-2 postseason record, and was deeply engrained in the Maryland football culture.

For the Maryland faithful, Edsall doesn't have that kind of familiarity to earn that trust off the bat. He's a Big East guy through and through, spending his playing days and first coaching positions at Syracuse and making a name for himself at Connecticut. His core values are in academics and player discipline, both reasons athletic director Kevin Anderson cited at the time of his hire.

The team, students, and fans will all join Camp Edsall eventually. The frustrations regarding the leadership change are a direct result of the Terps' on-field struggles. Winning doesn't cure everything, as some people say, but it goes a long way to fixing inter-program strifes. Once Maryland gets it together on the field, I expect the off-field chatter to slow down significantly.

Despite the frustrating home losses, Maryland is undefeated in conference play. At this point, only five teams in the league can still say that. If the Terps keep winning conference games they will put themselves in a position to compete for a conference title. It is much easier said than done, particularly with Georgia Tech and Clemson as their next two opponents, but if the Terps follow Edsall's lead and focus on the next game it can be done.

However if the losses pile up in the coming weeks, the questions about "transition," "distraction," and "culture" will only continue for the first-year head coach.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com