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. (March 2, 2012)

Desmond Connor is the Connecticut sports beat writer for one of our sibling papers, The Hartford Courant.

He tweeted Thursday that UConn, Wisconsin and Penn State are the three schools showing the most interest in former Maryland quarterbackDanny O'Brien.

When last we checked in with O'Brien, he had just received full clearance from Maryland to transfer to any school of his choosing. Head coach Randy Edsall had originally barred him from going to Vanderbilt, another ACC school or any school on Maryland's schedule in coming years. This led to a rather stinging barrage of ridicule and derision from the national media. If somehow you missed it, you can find an example here. And here. And here.

O'Brien hasn't said publicly which schools he's planning to look at. UConn makes some sense, in as far as he knows defensive coordinator Don Brown, who held the same job at Maryland under Ralph Friedgen. Wisconsin has long been speculated as a landing spot because of the success another transfer, Russell Wilson, had there.

Penn State is a relatively new addition. Fans of the school speculated about the possibility, as the Nittany Lions were plagued by lousy quarterback play all season, but there'd been no indication that the coaching staff had actual interest.

New coach Bill O'Brien runs a sophisticated offense, one built partially on things he learned from Friedgen when he was an assistant for the Terps. So maybe it could work out. Most observers of the program seem to think that none of the quarterbacks currently on the roster can do the job, and they also feel that, for all the hits the university as a whole took during the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, the football program came out mostly unscathed. Bill O'Brien has enough talent to at least continue to be competitive as he builds a team around his philosophy. Penn State's first 2013 recruit happens to be a well-regarded QB, but Danny O'Brien -- who has two years of eligibility left, and can play next season -- could take advantage of working with a guy who once got shouted at by Tom Brady while spending two years as the bridge to what's next.