Iowa City High quarterback A.J. Derby officially committed to Iowa on Friday, ending a pursuit by several colleges. He said he cut the list to Iowa, Oklahoma and Florida before picking the Hawkeyes.
He said he finalized his decision earlier this week and told Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz in person on Thursday. Derby said Ferentz gave him a hug when he told him his decision.
Here’s a little snippet from Derby talking to reporters after his press conference, which aired live on GazetteOnline:
A.J. Derby talking about watching Iowa beat Penn State last week:
I was just having a great time seeing my family get so excited with my friends and I just felt this was the spot I wanted to be. I want to be here with people who bleed black and gold and want to see the Hawkeyes win.
On telling Florida and Oklahoma coaches about his decision:
I talked to (Florida assistant and former Iowa State head coach) Coach (Dan) McCarney this morning. He said he heard about it, he said he saw it on ESPN actually. I told him this morning and he wished me good luck and anything I ever need from him, just give me a call. He’s a great guy.
I actually haven’t talked to (Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops).
On how close it was between the three schools:
It’s been even all the way through, honestly.
On thinking about the press conference and Friday game during the school day:
I try not to focus on the game during the day, I just try to go through school being normal. But after school it’s the game but now I did this. It’s not too bad.
Is he relieved?:
I’m happy it’s over. I’m happy with my decision, too.
If the fans were pushing him toward Iowa:
I heard it a lot. I went out to dinner one time (at HuHot) and someone wrote on my receipt “Go To Iowa.” Stuff like that. It just kind of got ridiculous but at the same time I kind of enjoyed it.
When I was actually at Iowa games I couldn’t walk like 10 feet without people telling me to go to Iowa.