A.J. Derby, a three-star signal caller and ranked No. 51 at his position, started receiving mail from LSU a while ago, but he just recently got the good news about LSU’s interest level upon calling offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.
“I talk to him [Crowton] every once in awhile,” Derby said. “I like him a lot. He seems like a good guy that I get along with well.
“He just said that they liked my film and that I was someone they thought could run the offense and be a good fit.”
Derby doesn’t have any ties to LSU, but the rich history of the Tigers has sparked his interest up in Big Ten country.
“LSU has always been a top team nationally,” said Derby. “They are always competing for championships and that is important to me.”
The gunslinger has yet to visit LSU, but he is considering taking in Baton Rouge this summer. He may or may not participate in any camps before he reports for fall camp at Iowa City, but he’s already made it out to UCLA, Stanford, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Derby is a versatile player at Iowa City High School, seeing time at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and safety as well as playing on the baseball team. Under center he threw for 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns, but also ran for 1,065 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior.
Colleges are recruiting Derby only as a quarterback and none have talked to him about playing more than one position. His offers include Iowa, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Illinois, Stanford and Nebraska, among others.
Derby says that he doesn’t have a favorite, but admitted that the hometown Hawkeyes have something working in their favor since his father, John Derby, was an Iowa middle linebacker.
“I grew up watching Iowa, and I like their coaching staff a lot,” Derby stated. “It may be a good place for me.”
One thing that will not hinder LSU or any other school’s chances outside of Iowa according to Derby is distance from home. However, it’s worth noting that Baton Rouge is approximately 925 miles and 14 and a half hours away in a car from Derby’s home as opposed to Iowa’s campus being only a 15 minute drive for mom and dad.
“Location doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I just want to go somewhere I feel comfortable and somewhere that fits me.”
The depth chart may be an issue for some recruits, but Derby embraces the idea of fighting for the job.
“You want to compete with the best so competition doesn’t bother me,” he said.
What is the signal caller looking for when he has to choose one college out of his stacks of offers?
“I want a coach that will be there the whole time I’m there,” he said. “I want a team that can go far and win a national championship. I want the team to be like a family.”
With that in mind, Derby said he’s looking forward to learning more about LSU.
“I don’t know much at all about LSU other than the stuff you pick up on from watching football,” he said. “I’m going to be looking for more stuff and trying to learn more, but I’m interested in LSU.”