A.J. Derby was a decorated high school football player. The U.S. Army All-American chose to join his hometown Iowa Hawkeyes after being courted by some of the top programs in the country.
The attention received by Derby kept him off of the radar of Coffeyville Community College Head Coach Aaron Flores. That was until he took a recent call from the Former Iowa City, City High standout.
"He wasn't a JUCO kid, so I had never heard of him," Flores said. "When he thought about leaving Iowa, he talked to one of my former players who told him to call me."
Flores declined to name the player who got he and Derby together.
"I'd rather not have him involved," the coach said.
Derby has not spoken publicly since announcing he was leaving the Hawkeye program 10 days ago. He has not returned messages left for him at Coffeyville.
"We just gathered information from each other (on the phone)," Flores said. "I wanted to see what his interest was in our program. He told me what he wanted to accomplish and then visited with his family."
Flores said that Derby desired to play quarterback, where he was for almost two years at Iowa before being switched to linebacker last fall.
"He was looking for a fresh start to pursue his dreams," Flores said. "Our door was open to give him that chance. I think he's a good fit for our system (multiple, no-huddle) with his arm strength and his ability to run. His experience at a Big Ten school also is valuable."
Flores said that he expects Derby to spend one season at Coffeyville before transferring to a Division I school next January.
"He'll have to compete (for the starting job)," Flores said. "It will depend on against who when we see who we sign next Wednesday."