TWO BITS: Demps featured, Hernandez gives

By Adam Silverstein
April 29, 2011

1 » Florida Gators senior running back and junior sprinter Jeff Demps was featured on the front page of NCAA.com and written about in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday for his amazing ability to be a two-sport athlete who thrives in both disciplines. Demps told NCAA writer Tim Turner that, upon begin injured against Tennessee, his focus was solely on his football career and getting back as soon as possible. “All I was thinking about was recovery and getting back for football,” Demps said. I wasn’t thinking about track. I give all the credit for the strength and conditioning coach for getting me back out there. I recovered better than I thought, and being hurt made me want to make the best of opportunities to compete. [Being in the SEC], I know each week I am going to compete against the best athletes in the country in each sport. Every week you have to go out there as if you are playing for the national championship. You never know who is going to have that 10 flat or run a 9.86.”

Demps discussed participating in the 2012 London Olympics with the Inquirer and whether or not that will have an impact on his future in the NFL. “I’m not really sure,” he said. “I’m not thinking about it that much. Sometimes it will go through my mind, but I have to stay away from thinking about it and focus on the present.” You can read the rest of both of these features, respectively, here and here.

2 » One year ago, former Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez saw his stock fall due to character concerns stemming from at least one positive marijuana test. After a stellar rookie season in which he caught 45 passes for 563 yards and six touchdowns for the New England Patriots, Hernandez has decided to give back by taking advantage as a unique platform he has being one of the few Latin players in the NFL.

According to the Boston Herald, Hernandez spent time on Friday “sharing his story and delivering his message to a group of third- and fifth-graders at Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston. Later in the evening, he’ll attend the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology’s annual gala to support the Dr. Cynthia Lucero Latino Mental Health Program, which benefits the local Latino community’s mental health resources.” He spoke about his decision to give back to the community. “I just feel like I can be really influential to young kids because I’ve been through a lot,” Hernandez told the Herald. “For me, I knew I always had someone I could look up to, and someone I could follow. When you have that role model in front of you, doing the right things, it can take you to where you want to be in life. You can get anywhere, as long as you have the drive, and you have someone to look up to. If you have no one to look up to, you have nowhere to go.” Having his father pass away due to complications from hernia surgery when he was only 16, Hernandez knows the importance of having role models to look up to.

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