Former University of Iowa running back Derrick Mitchell Jr. died after being involved in a car accident this past weekend in St Louis. He was 24 years old. Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed the news on Tuesday with a heartbreaking statement.
"On a somber note, I think all of us are very sorry to hear about Derrick Mitchell," Ferentz said per USA Today. "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. Feeling and condolences are certainly with his entire family."
According to a report from the NBC St. Louis affiliate, the accident happened on Friday morning in the city of St Louis. Mitchell was transported to a local hospital where he was in critical condition. Police said a 30-year old woman was also transported to the hospital, with her condition listed as critical as of Friday.
Mitchell played for the Hawkeyes from 2013-2016. He redshirted his first season and would end up recording 339 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns over the next three seasons. His most notable game was in the Big Ten Championship game in 2015 where he rushed for 79 yards in a win over Northwestern.
"During his time at Iowa, Mitchell had 27 carries for 173 yards and three rushing touchdowns. His sophomore season was his best in his career in Iowa City as he ran for 162 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns," Sean Bock of 247Sports wrote.
"Iowa recruited Mitchell as a wide receiver, but he made the switch to running back once he arrived at Iowa."
After falling on the depth chart in 2016, Mitchell decided to transfer in 2017. He was going to head to Texas Tech, but he decided to attend Incarnate World. In his lone season with the Cardinals, Mitchell rushed for 601 yards and three touchdowns.
Mitchell attended Vashon High School in St. Louis and head football coach Will Franklin released a statement.
"He has been nothing but a genuine young man from his days playing now till his first year as offensive coordinator at Career Academy," Franklin said of Mitchell. "This is something that hits home for a lot of us, especially me, knowing that he has done everything you want a young man to do in life."