First off, I have no qualms about A.J. Derby transferring from Iowa to pursue his collegiate football career elsewhere. In fact, I think his right to do that is covered by the U.S. Constitution. I’ll have to check on that.
To me, it’s Illustration No. 99,999 that fans can get just a little too wrapped up in recruiting. Though the suspicion all along was that he’d attend his hometown university and play in the same football program his father did (and brother does), it was a day of celebration in Hawkeyeland when Derby committed to Iowa.
This was a primo recruit, a U.S. Army All-American. All that was left was for Derby to mark his time until it was his turn to take the reins at quarterback, and then do great things.
But his turn to take the reins at quarterback never came, he moved to linebacker, spent several weeks of one season there, and then announced his departure.
I’m still trying to remember the parades that were thrown when Ricky Stanzi cast his lot with the Hawkeyes. Oh, that’s right. There weren’t any.
I could go on with the old, tired spiel about the multi-star recruits that didn’t pan out and the no-name recruits that became Hawkeye heroes. But you’ve heard it all before.
It doesn’t matter. Recruiting is the off-season game in football season. Never mind if Mika’il McCall or Jeff Brinson or A.J. Derby ever make a significant contribution. Never mind if you’d probably win more alumni games at Iowa with less-heralded recruits than with the bluest of blue-chippers.
The two former Hawkeyes with a chance to play in this season’s Super Bowl are safety Tyler Sash of the New York Giants and offensive guard Marshal Yanda of the Baltimore Ravens. Do you remember the Internet live-streamings of their letter-of-intent signings? Me, neither.