Former Iowa Hawkeyes running back Derrick Mitchell Jr. killed in car accident
Former Iowa running back Derrick Mitchell Jr. died Tuesday after suffering severe injuries in a car accident over the weekend. He was 24.
"On a somber note, I think all of us are very sorry to hear about Derrick Mitchell," Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz said at Tuesday's press conference. "He was involved in an accident last Friday morning, and we knew that was a tough circumstance. Just a very tough thing, and way, way too young for something like that to happen.
"Our feelings and condolences are certainly with his entire family."
St. Louis police said they responded to an accident around 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 4 —and Mitchell Jr. was transported to a hospital in critical condition, according to a report from St. Louis' NBC affiliate. Mitchell Jr.'s vitals were unstable at the time, police said.
After redshirting in 2013, Mitchell Jr. had 339 total yards and three touchdowns over the next three seasons. He was Iowa's leading rusher in the 2015 Big Ten championship game, and also scampered for 79 yards that season in a blowout win over No. 20 Northwestern.
Mitchell Jr. then fell behind in Iowa's 2016 running back rotation and opted to move on as a graduate transfer in January 2017. He was initially headed to Texas Tech but landed at FCS school Incarnate Word. Mitchell Jr. was the Cardinals' leading rusher in 2017. He ran for 601 yards and five touchdowns.
As the news of Mitchell Jr.'s death trickled out, support poured in on social media. Former Iowa running back Akrum Wadley, among others, acknowledged the news in a somber tone.
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.