May 21, 2009

Derby talks Elite 11 and recruiting

With a spot in the U.S. Army All American game already secured, A.J. Derby headed west last weekend looking to land the honor of being an Elite 11 Quarterback.

The 6-foot-5 and 218 pound dual threat quarterback enjoyed the experience of competing with several of the top prospects in the country at the tryout camp.

"It was fun," Derby said. "There were a lot of very good quarterbacks there and it was good competition. I probably didn't throw as well as I would have liked to, but I got some good tips from the coaches."

Derby doesn't know if he will be selected as an Elite 11 Quarterback and said that they told him that they would let him know in the near future.

With the camp being held in Berkley, CA, Derby made a stop at Stanford, who has extended a scholarship offer.

"It is a beautiful campus and a great program. The people there were great and very dedicated to academics. It was pretty cool."

From there, Derby made his way down the California coast to the Los Angeles area. The first stop was at UCLA, where they toured the campus with a former Hawkeye who is on staff for the Bruins.

"We met former Iowa quarterback David Raih at UCLA. It was nice to see a fellow Iowan out there. He gave us a tour of the campus. It was really beautiful there," Derby said.

Then he was off to the USC campus for an evening tour of the Trojans football facility and campus with one of their graduate assistants.

Both UCLA and USC said that they would like to have him out for camp before they would offer.

"UCLA and USC said that if I wanted to get an offer from them that I would have to come to their camp to work with their quarterback coach. I might make another trip back out there in June."

One new school has entered into the grow list of scholarship offers in recent weeks, the LSU Tigers. Derby spoke with Tigers offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, who extended the offer.

"I thought it was nice to get the offer from LSU," Derby said. "They are a big time school and I talked to their offensive coordinator and he seems like a real good guy. He has a good background with working with quarterbacks."

In the past month, a parade of assistant coaches have made their way to Iowa City High School to check in with Head Coach Dan Sabers about his prize quarterback. Coaches are not allowed to speak with Derby on those visits, but Coach Sabers has kept Derby updated on a regular basis as to who has visited.

"Just about every school that has offered has stopped by and Coach Sabers sends me an e-mail when they do since I can't speak with them." Derby said.

According to Derby, Iowa assistant Reese Morgan and Offensive Coordinator Ken O'Keefe have visited City High this month.

The next step in the recruiting process for Derby is about to get underway and that is narrowing his list of schools.

"I might go to a few camps or take some unofficial visits to schools and check them out so I can get a better feel for them. I have been thinking about it a lot and if I go on an unofficial and I love it and can't miss out on it then I will commit. But, I am in no hurry."

He says his plan is to narrow his list of schools to about seven or eight and then cut that list to five and set up official visits that could take place either during the fall or after his senior season ends.

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