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Nebraska QB Patrick O'Brien, not a fit in Scott Frost's offense, decides to transfer

Nebraska quarterbacks Tristan Gebbia (14), Noah Vedral (16), Adrian Martinez (2), Patrick O’Brien (12) and Andrew Bunch (17), warm up during practice in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Nebraska’s quarterback competition is down one competitor.

Patrick O’Brien, Nebraska’s No. 2 quarterback behind Tanner Lee in 2017, announced Thursday that he received his release from the program and will transfer. O’Brien competed with Lee for the starting role entering last season, but Lee (who left NU for the NFL) emerged as the team’s top option.

Now with former UCF coach Scott Frost in the fold as the Huskers head coach, the position was completely open with O’Brien, a redshirt sophomore, competing with redshirt freshman Tristan Gebbia, true freshman Adrian Martinez and walk-on sophomore Andrew Bunch. But with the Huskers working their way through spring practice with a brand new offense, O’Brien concluded that the current situation in Lincoln “just wasn’t the right fit.”


The news of O’Brien’s transfer came after it was revealed he was not at Thursday’s practice. When reached by the Omaha World-Herald, Frost agreed with O’Brien’s assessment.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do,” Frost said. “He’s a great kid. I think he wants to find a system that fits his skillset.”

At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, O’Brien, a former four-star recruit, was brought in by former Nebraska coach Mike Riley to run a pro-style offense. Frost’s offense at UCF presented more of a spread, up-tempo look with a dual-threat quarterback. O’Brien is not a running threat like Nebraska’s other quarterbacks.

O’Brien completed 18-of-30 for 192 yards in 2017 with most of those statistics coming in the second half against Minnesota after Lee was sidelined with a concussion. In the loss, O’Brien went 12-of-18 for 137 yards.

Moving forward, Gebbia and Martinez — formerly a Tennessee commit who Frost offered shortly after taking the NU job — are the perceived favorites to land the starting role. We’ll find out more with the team’s April 21 spring game on the horizon.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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