Iowa City High’s A.J. Derby keeps his options open

Iowa City High quarterback A. J. Derby carries the ball as Cedar Rapids Xavier's Steven Travis tries, unsuccessfully, to stop his progress during their game on Nov. 3, 2008, at City High School in Iowa City.

Iowa City High quarterback A. J. Derby carries the ball as Cedar Rapids Xavier's Steven Travis tries, unsuccessfully, to stop his progress during their game on Nov. 3, 2008, at City High School in Iowa City.

Iowa City High quarterback A.J. Derby compiles football scholarship offers like others his age collect football cards.

Derby, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior, has scholarship offers from Florida, Louisiana State, Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Miami, Nebraska and several others — “I can’t list them all off but it’s a lot,” he said. Iowa also feverishly has targeted him.

“It’s just kind of wide open right now,” Derby said. “I plan on taking all of my official visits. So I’m going to wait until the school year, then narrow it down to five and decide where I’m going to take my officials.

“It’s wide open. I’m still talking to everyone.”

Derby hopes to take a few of his visits on Saturdays following Thursday night high school games. Iowa City High plays Thursday night games on Sept. 17, Sept. 24 and Oct. 22.

Derby played wide receiver and defensive back for Iowa City High as a sophomore before moving to quarterback last year. He completed 77 of 136 passes for 1,197 yards and 11 touchdowns while throwing four interceptions. Derby also led Iowa City High in rushing with 1,064 yards on 168 attempts and scored 13 touchdowns.

With Derby’s frame and versatility, many wonder if colleges are recruiting Derby as a quarterback then switch him to tight end, linebacker or safety. Other speculation involves whether Derby could play the role of a running quarterback, like Florida’s Tim Tebow.

“Everyone is recruiting me for quarterback,” Derby said. “Some (schools want him as a running quarterback), and some don’t. Some want me to be a pocket passer. It’s kind of a little of both.”

Derby also faces outside pressure to remain with the hometown school, Iowa. His father, John, was an all-Big Ten linebacker at Iowa. His older brother, Zach, plays tight end at Iowa.

“They tell me to go Iowa all the time,” Derby said of his friends. “These coaches (baseball coaches from Cedar Rapids Kennedy) were trying to tell me to go to Iowa after the game. I’m kind of used to it.

“My dad just said do what you think is right for yourself and don’t just do what he wants, but do what I want.”

“I just try not to think about it too much and try to be a normal kid.”


9 Responses to Iowa City High’s A.J. Derby keeps his options open

  1. djwoody says:

    Go to Iowa! There, I’ve joined the crowd.

  2. billdelehant says:

    Iowa! Go there! (k, me too)

  3. Herkuleez says:

    By all means AJ, do whats right for you.

    However, if you should decide that another BT school…(or that institution in Lincoln)…is more ‘right’ for you than Iowa, than my God have mercy on your soul…cuz I gauran-freaking-tee you that the Hawkeye faithful sure as hell won’t.

  4. AlexKarras says:

    While I would like AJ to join the Hawkeye Football program, I simply refuse to put that much emphasis on one guy. Kind of like Arrington, who ended up being drafted after Kenny Iwebema……IOWA will be fine with, or without AJ. Go Hawkeyes

  5. Jebus says:

    Maybe Kirk can pick him up with the new private jet? DOH!

  6. bullspotter says:

    The Hawkeyes are famous for finding the Diamond in the ruff guys. Can you imagine A.J. throwing to a 6’3″ 200 pounder who runs a 4.3 forty? There is a kid like that with great hands in Caledonia, Mn. His name is Fruechte, he is the real deal.

  7. redric says:

    AJ I know that life is tuff and full of many choices! But it is up to you and you only to decide were you want to go! Just remember what your choise is is what you will live with the rest of your life!!!!! I am a die hard Hawkeye fan! And would love to see you end up being a hawkeye! We need players like you to put us over that last hurdle that we seem so close to!! Our coaching staff takes kids that fly under the radar and make them into pro’s!! Think what they could do for you!! Bset of luck were ever you land!!!

  8. paul W says:

    Just do what’s right for you, AJ.

    By the way, you know Iowa is right. Right?:)

  9. Ferentzdachosenone says:

    If AJ knows whats good for him he will select the Hawks. But i agree Alexkarras, either way the Hawks will reign. Our program turns joes into pros just look what we did for Shonn. Not even a decision to be made here, he’s good but not good enought to start for a program like Florida or Alabama, regardless of position.

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