O'Brien named Badgers' starting QB

O'Brien named Badgers' starting QB

Published Aug. 19, 2012 8:59 p.m. ET

MADISON, Wis. — It took longer than many would have suspected, but Danny O'Brien is officially the new starting quarterback for the University of Wisconsin.

Badgers coach Bret Bielema made the announcement Sunday night on his Twitter account following two weeks of fall practices. O'Brien now has 13 days to prepare as the starter for Wisconsin's Sept. 1 season opener against Northern Iowa.

Bielema said last week that he hoped to name a starting quarterback by no later than Aug. 22. But O'Brien impressed in camp by limiting his mistakes, prompting him to earn the job early.

Unlike the situation with Russell Wilson last season, O'Brien spent considerable time trying to claim the starting role during fall camp. He beat out redshirt freshman Joel Stave and redshirt senior Curt Phillips.

"Both Curt and Joel had great camps as well," Bielema wrote on Twitter. "We are very fortunate that we have 3 QB's that can play winning football for us. On Wisconsin!"

A year ago, Wilson won the starting nod in the first week when quarterback Jon Budmayr experienced nerve damage in his throwing elbow. Wilson went on to set the school record for TD passes while leading the Badgers to the Rose Bowl.

O'Brien, who played two seasons at Maryland, announced his intention to transfer to Wisconsin in March, and his experience helped separate him from Stave and Phillips. He completed 342 of 603 passes for 4,086 yards with 29 touchdowns and 18 interceptions during his Terrapins career and made 17 starts, but had a falling out with new coach Randy Edsall last season.

In 2010, O'Brien was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year while playing in then-coach Ralph Friedgen's pro-style offense — similar to the one used at Wisconsin. O'Brien has two years of eligibility remaining.

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