Derby leaving Iowa

A.J. Derby's cloudy future at Iowa has officially come to an end.

The Hawkeye is leaving the program following a season in which head coach Kirk Ferentz decided to move the former quarterback to defense.

The school announced Monday that the Iowa City native has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer.

"I would like to thank the University of Iowa and football coaches for the opportunity," Derby said. "Unfortunately, I don’t feel this is the best fit for me personally to reach my goals as a student-athlete. I especially wish my brother [Zach Derby, who will be a senior tight end next season] the best of luck in the coming year. I will miss all of my teammates, family and friends who have supported me here. Good luck to everybody. Once a hawk, always a hawk."

Derby won the backup quarterback job last fall as a redshirt freshman and completed 3 of 6 passes for 30 yards in limited duty. But he was suspended for two games in October after being arrested on charges of public intoxication and criminal mischief. When he returned, Ferentz moved him to linebacker and he saw duty on the team's kickoff coverage.

Derby was a highly recruited quarterback/athlete prospect in the Class of 2010 who played in the U.S. Army All-American Game and who had offers from Florida and Alabama, among other schools.

If Derby stays in the FBS when he transfers he will have to sit out 2012, and then he'll have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He would be eligible to play immediately, however, if he transfers to an FCS program.

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