“We’re excited that Danny has chosen to attend Wisconsin," Badgers Coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. "The first thing we did when we were aware of Danny's interest was to try and find out what type of person he was and if he would fit into our program. From our dealings with him and all the things I have heard from those who have been around him, he is a tremendous person and has great character. He had a fantastic visit and our current players who met him came away impressed. Having graduated from Maryland in just three years, you know right away that he is a smart kid.”
On Wednesday afternoon, O’Brien tweeted: “I will always be a proud Terp alum, but am hungry to get after it and start my next chapter in Madison! Lots of hard work ahead.”
Maryland announced that O’Brien was leaving the program in February. Originally, the school placed a number of restrictions on where O’Brien could transfer but later eliminated those restrictions after a significant public backlash.
O’Brien, who is expected to graduate from Maryland this spring and is originally from Minnesota, will have two years of football eligibility remaining. He was named ACC rookie of the year in 2010 before struggling through a 2011 season that was ended when he broke his non-throwing arm against Notre Dame on Nov. 12. He completed 150 of 266 passes for 1,648 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2011.
O’Brien reportedly chose Wisconsin over Penn State and Vanderbilt, which is coached by former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin, who recruited O’Brien to College Park. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Badgers have only two healthy quarterbacks participating in spring practice. O’Brien is the second former ACC quarterback to head to Wisconsin after graduating early; N.C. State’s Russell Wilson did the same last season and led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl.