Last fall as a junior he started at running back and cornerback for Brentwood Academy and also returned kickoffs. He rushed the football 76 times for 738 yards, an average of 9.7 yards per carry. He also caught seven passes for 66 yards.
On defense he made 31 solo tackles with 14 assists and intercepted a pass.
He also scored a touchdown on a kickoff return and averaged 27.0 yards per return last season.
Commenting on his style of play, King says, "I like to consider myself an athlete playing offense or defense or on kick returns. I enjoy having the ball in my hand, but I think on the next level I will be a cornerback."
King notes that he has played football since he was around seven or eight years old and he enjoys the sport. He also runs for the Brentwood Academy track team. As a sophomore he finished second in the state 100 meters finals and has a personal-best time of 10.71 seconds in the event.
His father, Derek King, Sr., played offensive line at Ole Miss. Derek Jr. notes that his dad is around six-foot-two to six-foot-three and he expects he will get taller, too, by the time he is in college.
Involved in winter workouts, King says he is trying to improve in a variety of areas that will make him a better football player this fall.
"You can always work on your footwork as a football player," he points out. "I feel like that is very important. Becoming stronger and being more explosive is also something I am working on because that is real important in football.
King, who notes that he is being recruited for Auburn by assistant coach Phillip Lolley, says he came down for a pair of Auburn games last fall and is interested in the Tigers.