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Iowa's A.J. Derby to transfer

More tough news for Iowa, as the team announced Monday that redshirt freshman A.J. Derby will transfer after asking for his release from his scholarship.

Derby, an Iowa City native, came to the Hawkeyes as a heralded quarterback recruit with terrific athleticism. He was one of Iowa's most decorated recruits and instantly became a fan favorite.

He redshirted the 2010 season and entered the 2011 campaign as a quarterback, completing 3 of 6 passes for 30 yards, before moving to linebacker in October. He entered the year as Iowa's No. 2 quarterback but moved to linebacker shortly after serving a two-game suspension following an arrest for fourth-degree criminal mischief and public intoxication.

Although he made the move to linebacker, he seemed to do so a bit reluctantly. Derby's next stop likely will provide him another chance to call signals on offense.

"I would like to thank the University of Iowa and football coaches for the opportunity," Derby said in a statement. "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, a junior tight end for Iowa] 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."

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz wished Derby well, calling him "a pleasure to coach."

It would have been interesting to see where Derby's career would have gone at Iowa. The team seems fairly set at quarterback for the next few years, as starter James Vandenberg returns in 2012 and Jake Rudock, a heralded recruit, redshirted the 2011 season.

Without much of a chance to compete for snaps, Derby is likely best served to play elsewhere.