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Could Bulls be match for Maryland QB transfer?



Could USF wind up with a scholarship quarterback joining the program this fall after all? After coming up empty in the regular recruiting process, the Bulls could have a new option for their 2013 starting job in quarterback Danny O'Brien, who is leaving Maryland after two seasons.


O'Brien, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound passer who threw for 22 touchdowns as a freshman when he was the ACC's 2010 Rookie of the Year, could see two things at USF: familiar faces in the coaching staff, and a wide-open quarterback job for 2013 after starter B.J. Daniels graduates.

When O'Brien came out of high school three years ago in Kernersville, N.C., one of his final three choices was East Carolina, which had Skip Holtz at head coach and Todd Fitch at offensive coordinator, in the same roles they now have at USF. Both made the three-hour trip to Kernersville in recruiting O'Brien, according to East Forsyth High coach Todd Willert.

"Danny loved Coach Holtz, and ECU was definitely in his top three," said Willert, saying that O'Brien's decision to not go to ECU was led by a belief that Holtz might not be around long in Greenville.

And one of the first college coaches to recruit O'Brien at East Forsyth was current USF quarterbacks coach Peter Vaas, who was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Duke in 2007 -- the Blue Devils ended up as one of O'Brien's final two schools.

Barring any surprises, O'Brien will have one year of eligibility after sitting out the 2012 season as a transfer, which puts him in position to contend for USF's 2013 starting job. He would have more college experience than USF's current backups, Bobby Eveld and Matt Floyd, and USF could still sign a top-tier freshman quarterback next spring, knowing O'Brien would only be there for one more season.

Willert said he expected to sit down with O'Brien's mother and stepfather this week, identifying the best colleges for him.

[Last modified: Monday, February 13, 2012 7:06pm]


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