January 8, 2009

Derby talks Army All American combine

While his older brother, Zach, was in Tampa with the Hawkeye Football team, A.J. Derby did some traveling of his own to San Antonio to participate in the Junior Combine portion of the U.S. Army All American Camp. The junior signal caller, who already holds an offer from the Hawkeyes and others, turned a few heads with his arm strength and athletic ability.

"It was a lot of fun and it was good to see some of the competition across the nation and where I stacked up," Derby said. "It is a little intimidating at first with all of the players, but once you start talking to some of the guys, you realize that are just like you are."

Part of the combine was built around testing. Derby measured in at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds and gave a good accounting of himself, according to the experts at Rivals.com.

At the conclusion of the combine, he was listed as one of the top performers. Even though he had not picked up a football since the end of Iowa City High's season, he shook off the rust and was praised for having one of the strongest arms in the camp to go along with his size.

"It was kind of hard to get back into that mode, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I was probably a little on and off because I haven't thrown a football in a while. Some of my throws were a little wild, but for the most part, I was pretty accurate," he said.
In addition to the performance side, Derby was also tested in the 40 yard dash, the shuttle run, and vertical jump.

"I wouldn't say that I did poorly in any area, but I want to improve my speed and quickness."

Derby, who is also a potential Division One basketball prospect, went back into hoops mode once he arrived back in Iowa City. This week, the Little Hawks got a welcome addition back to their team when big man Malcolm Moore returned to action.

"Malcolm is a dominating threat inside and he is hard to stop, so it is nice to have him back. It opens things up a little more for me and the rest of the guys to drive and get to the basket because they can't help off of him," Derby said.

Along with basketball back in swing after the holiday break, Derby is hoping to make a couple of Junior Day Football trips early this year.

"I am going to Iowa's Junior Day this month and I might go to LSU's and Florida's, but it will depend on my basketball schedule. I don't want to miss any games, if possible."
Derby currently holds scholarship offers from Iowa, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, and Stanford. He continues to get interest from Illinois, Florida, Oklahoma, LSU, and others.

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