The obstacles that Maryland Coach Randy Edsall has had to deal with since he arrived in January have been well chronicled. Everything from the APR hit to the self-imposed practice-time sanctions to the departure, for various reasons, of a dozen of eligible players all served as speed bumps along the way to preseason camp.
But as Edsall tries to solidify the foundation of the program, one of the positives from the very beginning has been the presence of quarterback Danny O’Brien. The 2010 ACC freshman of the year has a bright future, everyone knows that. But former Maryland coaches and current players often have said that O’Brien is more impressive in person than he is just on film because of his appetite for studying and preparing. It did not take long for Edsall to figure that out.
“Danny, he is a rare individual,” Edsall said. “I have not been around a lot of guys like Danny in terms of how he prepares and how he studies and how important the game is to him. He is one of these guys who really wants to know everything that is going on. And I knew that from the very first meeting that I had with the team on that Sunday night.
“I had asked for questions. About four or five guys had questions. And then Danny, sitting right in the front row, having driven up from North Carolina because he was not taking winter session, and he said, ‘Coach, I have two questions for you: When are you hiring the offensive coordinator? And when am I getting a playbook?’
“I knew right then and there that I have a special guy. When he is going to ask those questions and those are his two major concerns, I knew he was pretty special then. There are a lot of guys who have the ability, but they won’t put in the time and effort in terms of preparation from a mental standpoint. And Danny is one of those guys, he’s a gym rat. He always wants to know what is going on. He is always watching the film. He just got accepted into the business school at Maryland. The guy has got the whole package.”