Largely through his family, I’ve kept tabs on O’Brien. Here is some of what I know:
O'Brien is not the sort to commit to spring football under a new offensive coordinator without being prepared to follow through into the season. If he stays at Maryland, spring football would be an important time in the development of Mike Locksley’s offense. That’s why this is such an important period now for O’Brien, even though his participation in spring football would be limited because he is not yet 100 percent healthy. On Wednesday, he tweeted “Contrary to rumor, I am still a Terp,” but he didn’t address the future. Maryland has said it has no reason to believe he won't be back.
* Even as he said the proper, team-oriented things, O’Brien felt mismatched at times last season in Gary Crowton’s spread offense -- with its option reads. Crowton’s departure opened up the possibility of more of a pro-style offense that the quarterback seems to favor. It's rough for any quarterback to operate under three offensive coordinators in three seasons. O’Brien and his family have long been close with former offensive coordinator James Franklin, now the Vanderbilt coach.
* O’Brien loves the area – the proximity to the nation’s capital and to Baltimore, where he served as a summer intern at Under Armour and learned about marketing. He enjoys being a leader and face of the program. His image has adorned Terps' promotional literature. Will all that – plus his affection for the school and his Maryland friends – keep him in College Park? We’ll see.