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A.J. Derby competing for Coffeyville quarterback position

[ 0 ] March 29, 2012 |

Coffeyville Community College needs a new starting quarterback and A.J. Derby is among three players competing for the position this spring.

“He’s doing real well,” Coffeyville coach Aaron Flores said Thursday morning. “He’s jumped right in and made a lot of friends. He’s working hard.”

The 6-foot-4, 232-pound Derby transferred from Iowa to Coffeyville, which is located in Coffeyville, Kan., after the fall semester supposedly because he wanted to play quarterback.

Coffeyville doesn’t have a starter returning at quarterback, so the position is currently wide open. The team started spring practice Wednesday.

Derby began last season as Iowa’s No. 2 quarterback behind James Vandenberg, but then switched to linebacker midway through the season. His position switch came shortly after Derby had served a two-game suspension for being charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and public intoxication in early October. Derby played mostly on special teams for the remainder of the season.

Derby was recruited to Iowa as a quarterback after leading City High to the Class 4A state title as a senior in 2009. In fact, he was so determined to play quarterback for the Hawkeyes that Derby graduated from City a semester early in order to enroll at Iowa for spring practice.

Derby hasn’t spoken publicly since he announced in mid-January that he was leaving Iowa through a statement in which he said he was thankful for his time at Iowa, but that he didn’t feel it was the best fit for him personally to reach his goals.

“He’s trying to avoid everything,” Flores said when asked if Derby would be available for an interview.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters last week that he was surprised by Derby’s decision to leave the team. Derby would’ve been a sophomore at Iowa this fall.

“That’s just the way those go sometimes,” Ferentz said. “It’s just a decision he made. I think his family supported that decision obviously.”

Derby’s parents also haven’t said why their son decided to transfer after his redshirt freshman season.

Derby’s father, John Derby, played linebacker at Iowa from 1988-91, earning all-Big Ten honors. His older brother Zach Derby is also a senior-to-be tight end for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa is expected to have five quarterbacks on scholarship this fall, including Vandenberg, who will be a senior. The others are redshirt freshman Jake Rudock, senior John Wienke, junior-college transfer Cody Sokol and incoming freshman C.J. Beathard.

However, Ferentz said Wienke is focused more on trying to become the starting punter.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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