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Through Iowa ties, A.J. Derby finds second QB chance

[ 0 ] September 17, 2013 |
Arkansas Razorback quarterback Brandon Allen (10), left, makes a throw as AJ Derby (11) looks on before a game earlier this season. Derby, a former Iowa recruit, could start this weekend for an injured Allen. (USA TODAY Sports)

Arkansas Razorback quarterback Brandon Allen (10), left, makes a throw as AJ Derby (11) looks on before a game earlier this season. Derby, a former Iowa recruit, could start this weekend for an injured Allen. (USA TODAY Sports)

Iowa City High graduate A.J. Derby, who left Iowa after two seasons, is on the verge of taking the field as the starting quarterback for Arkansas on Saturday at Rutgers.

The unbeaten Razorbacks could be forced to go with Derby, the quarterback last season at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. Derby decided to create a second football life for himself after Iowa coaches tried to convert him to linebacker.

First-year Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has particular ties to the Derby family. Bielema, a former defensive lineman for the Hawkeyes, shared the field with A.J.’s father, John, a linebacker. Bielema then tried to recruit Derby while he was head coach at Wisconsin.

“I’m happy that he’s doing well. They’re a great family,” Ferentz said of A.J. Derby. “It didn’t work out here, and we’re all sorry about that. I hope he does well and if he gets in there, I hope it goes well for him.”

Derby helped guide Arkansas to a 24-3 win against Southern Miss last weekend after starter Brandon Allen was sidelined with a first-quarter shoulder injury.

He finished 4-for-6 passing for 36 yards and ran the ball once for 10 yards.

“The first few plays, the adrenaline (was) pumping,” Derby said after the game. “But after the first series, the game just kind of came naturally, and I just played.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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