Clearly, Derby has plenty to consider when it comes to choosing where he will play college football next autumn. And the Iowa City quarterback plans on taking his time in doing so.
Derby has led his Iowa City High Little Hawks to a 5-0 record thus far in the 2009 high school season. The 6-foot-4, 223-pound Derby leads the Mississippi Valley Conference in almost every important statistical passing category for Iowa City, the second-ranked team in Class 4A (large schools).
For now, Derby is trying to keep 2010 on the backburner while he focuses on his senior season at Iowa City. According to Derby, no school has been eliminated from the process yet.
"I'll take my time and take some officials (visits) after the season," Derby said Thursday after leading Iowa City to a 28-7 victory over Dubuque Hempstead in a battle between two undefeated conference leaders.
It could not be less clear where Derby is headed next season. Iowa would seem to be a natural fit, given his father was an all-Big Ten Conference linebacker at Iowa in the 1980s, and his brother, Zach, is a tight end for the 2009 Hawkeyes.
One recent Internet report even suggested Derby has already silently committed to Iowa, but he refuted that.
Though Derby has said he wants to play quarterback in college, some recruiting experts have opined that he may end up at tight end or even possibly on defense.
At Iowa City, Derby runs the Little Hawks' offense out of some I-formation and some spread. He has had measurable success running the ball this year in addition to his passing.
As a passer, Derby has terrific arm strength and throws a good spiral. His accuracy, however, needs polishing.
Derby is also a natural leader with great command in the huddle and a calm demeanor during battle.
"He's a physical specimen with talent," Hempstead coach Mark Ehlers said.
That's why everybody wants him.
A.J. Derby profile
From: Iowa City (Iowa City High)
Year: Senior (class of 2010)
Weight: 223 pounds
Scout.com rankings: 3 stars, #33 QB nationally, #2 overall prospect from Iowa