Danny O'Brien

Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien, center, looks on from the bench in the second half of a 28-17 loss to Boston College on Oct. 29, 2011.

PATRICK SEMANSKY — Associated Press

Danny O'Brien, poised to become a free agent quarterback after completing this semester at Maryland, told BadgerNation.com he will take a close look at transferring to the University of Wisconsin as he contemplates where to use his final two years of eligibility.

The road map provided by Russell Wilson apparently made a big impression on O'Brien, who threw for more than 4,000 yards in two seasons with the Terrapins and was the ACC rookie of the year as a redshirt freshman in 2010 before struggling to adjust to new coach Randy Edsall's spread offense as a sophomore.

O'Brien is poised to earn his bachelor's degree this spring, which would allow him to transfer to another school and play immediately if he enrolls in a graduate program not offered at Maryland.

That's the same NCAA loophole Wilson utilized to avoid sitting out a season, which is customary per transfer rules.

According to a Baltimore Sun report, O'Brien also thinks highly of Stanford. He told BadgerNation.com that it's been a "whirlwind" week since receiving a conditional release from his scholarship on Monday and he doesn't intend to make a decision immediately.

The 6-3, 215-pound O'Brien was ranked No. 58 in the 2009 recruiting class by Scout.com, and was regarded as a three-star prospect out of five.

Yet to be determined is the Badgers' interest in O'Brien.

UW faces uncertainty at quarterback for the second straight spring. Wilson exhausted his lone season of eligibility, recurring injuries have cast doubt on senior Curt Phillips (reconstructive knee surgery) and junior Jon Budmayr (nerve issues in arm), sophomore Joe Brennan and redshirt freshman Joel Stave are inexperienced and four-star recruit Bart Houston won't have the benefit of spring practice, as he must complete his schooling at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif.

Badgers coach Bret Bielema has demonstrated that he is open to welcoming another transfer, as his staff pursued former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist this offseason before he settled on Kansas.

But Bielema also intimated during the pursuit of Wilson, and in subsequent conversations about would-be transfers, that he evaluates not only a player's talent but also whether he'll be a good fit on a personal level.

It would stand to reason that the bar has been raised for O'Brien, as not only did Wilson impress on both counts but the potential exists for backlash from within and outside the program should the Badgers acquire a transfer quarterback for the second straight year.

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