O'Brien chooses Wisconsin

Following his transfer from Maryland, quarterback Danny O'Brien has finally decided on his college of choice.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus, the 2010 ACC newcomer of the year will transfer to Wisconsin.

The Badgers had a real issue under center, especially with the questionable health of projected starter Jon Budmayr. Last year's backup, Joe Brennan, was taking first-team reps with the team in spring drills but is very inexperienced. Redshirt freshman and former walk-on Joel Stave was listed as the team's No. 2. Fellow signal-caller Curt Phillips missed each of the last two seasons while trying to come back from multiple knee injuries, and it's uncertain how much he can compete this spring. Freshman Bart Houston, meanwhile, will arrive in the summer but needed surgery on his right throwing arm. Landing O'Brien was almost essential for new Badgers OC Matt Canada, who replaces Paul Chryst as the leader of this offense.

Penn State was also very much in the mix for O'Brien, as the former Terp traveled to State College twice in a little over a week's span and even took in the Nittany Lions' practice on Monday. Now, new Nittany Lions head coach Bill O'Brien will have to choose between incumbent Matt McGloin, one-time starter Rob Bolden and Paul Jones.

This is the second consecutive year that the Badgers have added a transfer quarterback. Russell Wilson came over from N.C. State, another ACC school, last summer and helped lead Bret Bielema's squad to the Rose Bowl. O'Brien, however, will have two years of eligibility remaining unlike Wilson's single season.

In his debut ACC season in 2010, O'Brien went 7-3 as a starter, passing for 2,438 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Running the Terps' pro-style offense, he looked poised to continue his success in College Park. However, a change in offensive philosophy hurt his development.

Maryland began running the spread under Gary Crowton after former OC James Franklin assumed the Vanderbilt head job, and O'Brien struggled a bit with his reads, especially early in the year. He passed for 1,648 yards with 10 interceptions and seven touchdowns in nine games, losing his starting job to C.J. Brown before suffering a broken bone in his non-throwing arm in a loss to Notre Dame.

UPDATE: Bielema has confirmed the transfer, as the Badgers head coach sent out a media release, which you can view HERE.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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