A&M has now lost Long, Farmer

Updated: January 22, 2004, 5:14 AM ET
Associated Press

NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- Texas A&M running back Derek Farmer became the second key offensive player to leave the team Tuesday when he enrolled at Stephen F. Austin for his senior season.

Farmer followed backup quarterback Dustin Long, who started classes last week at Sam Houston State University. By transferring to NCAA Division I-AA Southland Conference schools, both players are eligible to play immediately.

"We are as excited to have someone of Derek's abilities come into our program as he is about coming to Stephen F. Austin," SFA coach Mike Santiago said. "He has the potential to add more quality to an already good football team."

In three seasons at Texas A&M, Farmer gained 1,582 yards. He started all 12 Aggie games last season and gained 340 yards on 82 carries. His performance was overshadowed by Courtney Lewis, who rushed 1,024 yards.

A&M coach Dennis Franchione was not immediately available for comment.

Farmer gained 503 yards rushing as a freshman and gained 100 yards on 20 carries in his first career start, a 24-3 victory over Notre Dame. He had six career 100 yard games, including 117 yards last season against Baylor.

Farmer averaged over four yards per carry in each of his three seasons in College Station.

"I decided it was time for a change in my football career," Farmer said in a statement. "Stephen F. Austin is a good football program with a solid history. I'm looking forward to being able to come over here my senior year and help the team. The fact that it's closer to my home in Tyler was also a factor for me."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press