Thursday, February 9, 2012

Could Pitt's new starting QB be Danny O'Brien?

Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien is reportedly looking to transfer.  The 6'3" 215 pound O'Brien is a former ACC Rookie of the Year and Freshman All-American after he threw for 2,438 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions in 2010.

Via twitter, O'Brien stated that "Contrary to rumor, I'm still a Terp".  Technically, while true, most observers point out that O'Brien didn't say he will continue to be a Terp in the near future.  In fact, it is believed that O'Brien, a third year sophomore, can graduate after the spring semester ends on May 20.  At that time O'Brien can become a graduate transfer and will not have to sit out a year if he wants to play for another school.  If he transfers before he graduates he would have to sit out a year.

O'Brien's sophomore year was not as successful, but most people associated with Maryland football feels it has to do with the change of offense incorporated by new head coach Randy Edsall who went from pro-style to the spread.  O'Brien had trouble in the offense and his production dropped.  To make matters worse,  Maryland's talent plummeted (24 transfers and counting since Edsall was hired), including the departure of No. 1 draft pick receiver Torrey Smith.  Then on Nov. 12 O'Brien broke a bone in his upper, non-throwing arm.

While it's still way too early to know if Pitt will be a contender for O'Brien, the list of suitors is expected to be long.  O'Brien is a very good quarterback who could be NFL caliber if developed properly.  Needless to say, this is the perfect time to have Paul Chryst, who is known as an offensive genius, and just came off a highly successful season with another graduate transfer, Russell Wilson.

O'Brien's addition to the Panthers would obviously be huge.  Even though he would miss Pitt's spring practice, he would almost assuredly start the season opener or not long after.  It would also allow Chad Voytik to redshirt one year and serve as backup in another.  By the time he would start he would be a third year sophomore and could presumably hit the ground running on the way to being a potential three year starter.

The school that may be the biggest obstacle for the Panthers could be Vanderbilt, whose head coach, James Franklin, was the offensive coordinator for Maryland during O'Brien's big redshirt freshman season.  O'Brien is very close to Franklin and reportedly even helped Franklin pack his desk when he got the Vanderbilt job.  He is also comfortable with Franklin since he knows he was already successful for him in the past.  But Vanderbilt already has six quarterbacks on the roster next season, not including O'Brien.  It's unknown whether or not that would have an effect at all on O'Brien's decision.  Another factor helping Vanderbilt is that O'Brien is a business major and the school has one of the business schools in the country.

An even bigger obstacle could be Maryland itself, who could possibly deny a transfer to a future ACC opponent, especially one that could develop into a big rivalry.

37 comments:

  1. can they block a graduate from transferring? I know they can block a regular transfer but if he's graduated how can they tell him what school to go to?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to say the same thing..
      I don't think MD can block a graduate from transferring.

      I'm not big on red shirts... I wouldn't red shirt any player...

      Delete
  2. Oh its wonderful to dream, but this one seems to be a bit far-fetched. Nevertheless thanks for a fun post to ruminate over while we impatiently wait for spring practice.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish. It seems like theres a ton of ifs but id love it if it happened. I watched many of his maryland games in his freshman year and he was impressive. I think this would be the best case scenario for pitt and pitt would be attractive but it doesnt seem very likely

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, Maryland has to give permission, unfortunately. I already asked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and its not always given:


      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/seth_davis/01/04/todd.obrien/index.html

      Delete
    2. Rivals is saying that robert foster is pitts number one target. This is relieving because, while i was sure that pitt was recruiting foster, a lot of comments by chris and others made it sound like they werent putting a lot of effort into it.

      Delete
    3. pk, I live in the Central Valley school district and I can tell you Urban Meyer knows everybody in this school district. I havent heard Paul Chryst name mentioned once yet!! He better get moving, its not going to happen by accident!

      Delete
  5. Of course he's their No. 1 target. But they definitely haven't been recruiting as hard as others have at the beginning, including Foster who has already been to Ohio State and will also be to Penn State before he's ever been to Pitt with the new staff. That's just a fact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you listen to the pressor...

      Chryst "just offers"...
      gives them the information they need to know to make a decisison.
      he sees no need in pressing the flesh and getting to know all the influencers.

      Delete
    2. and let me add.. he also said..

      its not that difficult!!!
      just offer!!!

      Dumbest statement I every heard from a college coach regarding recruiting.
      I hope he turns it around!!!

      Delete
    3. Youre blowing that out of proportion. What i take from that is hes going to get the kids who really want to be at pitt. He knows as well as anyone that recruiting is of the upmost importance, hes a college coach remember? The fact that he recruited the most important position, qb, and landed some darn good ones, and was the closer for wisconsin tells me that he can recruit. We all know he isnt a very good presser so now were going to take every statement and turn it into the death of the program!!!???? I have never seen you make a positive comment on here whether you are a troll or just that pessimistic i dont understand it.

      Delete
    4. Let me say.. I like Chryst as a hire.
      I wanted Chryst over Cristobal... even though the knock on Chryst was he doesn't like to recruit... I thought he could hire good assistants... then he went and hired the DL coach from the west coast!!
      Then he said we just offer.
      Couple that with waiting 10 days to make a phone call to recruits! And to use Chryst words, it actions that matter not talk... waiting 10 days was inexcusable!!
      Obviously he is clueless about recruiting with that statement and his actions. Marketing 101 is he has to create demand (or wanting to come to Pitt).
      He will not be able to land 4star recruits outside the wpial with that attitude.
      Success will depend upon recruiting... I hope he can turn it around.

      btw... I sent email to EJ and Pederson stating Chryst needs "coaching" on how to conduct a pressor as well as what not to say (just offer). I've had discussions with EJ regarding player tweets and policy and I noticed a change after Graham.

      If he wants to land Foster, I'd put Engram on it full time... plus Chryst. CV is only 40 min from southside so they can be at every game if they want to be as well as numberous practices.

      Delete
    5. Joe D. What way do you go that it takes 40 minutes to get from South Side to CV? 40 minutes?

      As for the more important stuff, you bring up some interesting points, but let's judge him on how he runs his spring camp and then the regular season. For any of us to judge this man on how he handles every aspect of his first head coaching job is ludicrous. None of us have as much experience as him; regardless of how many posts we put on the various blogs.

      Delete
    6. OK, everyone is scratching their heads over the DL coach hire. So am I. But how do we know Chryst didn't reach out to other candidates first? Most of the assistants make sense and one does not... so why focus on that instead of seeing how it plays out?

      Delete
    7. Joe d, the only recruits he didnt call were ones he didnt want. The voytiks and shells and bisnowatys were all called within days.

      Delete
    8. pk,
      voytik, shells, etc took 10 days...
      He had a 48 hour window.... then a 8 day no contact period was in effect.
      That was troubling to me...
      He was letting Junko and Lasalla do all the work and all the calls until after Rose bowl... but these recruits wanted to hear from the coach... and even tweeted about it. After pressor, Voytik tweeted something tot he effect of expecting a call soon... well soon isn't 10 days!!!

      Delete
  6. Chris, are they recruiting him as hard now?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Its concerning that this staff didnt go after these kids hard earlier. Obviously im not in the know, but i have a gut feeling that foster ends up at ohio state. It doesnt seem like hes very interested in pitt either

    ReplyDelete
  8. My thoughts on the original topic: anybody but Tino Sunseri, and I don't care from where we get him, or how. ANYBODY!

    Hail to Pitt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree!!!

      Anybody... but Tino

      Delete
    2. I mostly agree,however I was at the Utah game last year and witnessed Trey Anderson try to play. No offense to the poor kid, but wow...

      Delete
  9. It does sound strange that O'Brien would have to get permission from Maryland after graduation. Especially if he hadn't accepted a scholarship for the 2012-13 season from them as scholarships are issued on a one year basis.

    If both of those issues were met, graduation and no scholarship, then you'd have to think he'd be free to choose on his own.

    Sounds like indentured servitude to me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. OT but relevant - Prediction on the BE after the dust settles.
    1. PITT & Syracuse move to the ACC for 2012 season.
    2. WVU & Louisville move to the B12 for the 2012 season.
    3. Cincinnati & Boise move to the B12 for the 2012 season.
    4. USF, UConn & Rutgers join the Conf USA/MWC merger for the 2012 season.
    5. Big East football gone. Big East becomes a Catholic bb league. Good-bye Madison Square Garden.
    6. ND finally feels the pressure and joins the ACC along with ? One of three – Rutgers or UConn or Penn State (long shot).
    –MikeN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't doubt any of what you say. Marinatto is either the worst at his position ever or the best, depending on what his intentions really are(were)for the Big East.
      Just basketball, then he is a genius, to keep the conference in tact, then he is an idiot.

      Delete
    2. I think BE will have to pay $5mill early exit fee for Boise to come to BE for 2012 to replace WVU.... otherwise, you will be seeing lawsuits.
      I think Pitt and Syracuse will be in ACC for 2013/14 season.

      Delete
    3. You forgot one, MikeN:

      7. Pitt finally wakes up and brings back its classic Script unis. (smile). Hey, a guy can hope!

      I enjoyed your forecast. However, Boise isn't going to the B12 (well, B13 if your predictions are right...). They could have invited Boise forever ago, but for whatever reason the league doesn't view the Blue Field Broncos as a good fit, dunno why. Maybe it's as simple as that hideous field?

      Frankly, I don't care which league PSU plays in as long as we play them every year. Which there seems to be strong momentum to FINALLY make happen, for the first time in decades.

      Delete
    4. Imma,
      Well if not Boise then BYU. The B12 wants to have a playoff. They are still very unstable. I'm sticking with Boise as my prediction.
      -MikeN

      Delete
    5. Mike N... interesting thoughts. And wouldn't it be good for that to happen so we can all get on with our lives.
      Regarding #6... I would guess Rutgers would be the team because BC already blocked UConn once, Rutgers is an AAU school and the ACC presidents would like that. UConn is facing some possible sanctions as well and after ND, its the largest CFB TV draw in the NYC market. Like UConn, they would be highly motivated to join.

      Imma .... I cannot for the life of me understand why Pitt wouldn't play at least one home game a year in throwback mustard & royal blue with the script. its a real head scratcher. Look at the success the Pens have had bringing back the old powder blue unis on occasion. I really believe they would see an increase in merchandise sales. Its a head scratcher.

      Delete
    6. Sorry - meant to be clear that Rutgers is #2 in the NYC TV market after ND, not UConn.

      Delete
    7. MikeN, The B12 only needs 2 more teams after WVU for 12, which is the magic number for a league champs game. So L'ville is a near-given for 11th, and Cincy make 12.

      They don't need Boise, or BYU for that matter. Altho maybe they'd prefer Boise over Cincy?

      Delete
  11. Rules on Grad Transfers can be found here:

    http://www.ncaa.org/wps/portal/ncaahome?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/ncaa/NCAA/Legislation+and+Governance/Eligibility+and+Recruiting/Faqs/eligibility_seasons.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. My vote for Marinatto is worst, he could have kept Pitt, SU and WVU if they expanded sooner rather than later.

    Now the BE is more of a collection of basketball or football members only, the goal of a conference is affiliation in all sports.

    Big East, Big Deal, Louisville is going to bolt when they can.

    ReplyDelete
  13. When WVU pays the $20M to the Big East what is Pitt's share of it as a conference member ?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Depends on where you think O'Brien could put up his best numbers: i.e., in the Big East/ACC or in the SEC? Also depends on the strength of Vandy's SEC schedule? O'Brien may choose the SEC but that'd be a ballsy move if he thinks he'll head south and shred up those mean defenses that bring everything but the kitchen sink.
    ******************************************************************

    ReplyDelete