RB Demps will return to Gators for 2011 season

By Adam Silverstein
July 26, 2011

The University of Florida officially announced Tuesday that Florida Gators senior running back Jeff Demps remains committed to football and will join his team during the first week in August to begin preparations for the 2011 season.

Though fans have wondered whether or not Demps would eventually give up football to concentrate solely on a career as a track & field sprinter, he made it clear Tuesday after meeting with head coach Will Muschamp that he only has one focus going forward when the fall semester begins.

“When I came to Florida I wanted to compete at a very high level in both sports and I’ve done that,” Demps said in a release from the school. “Football has been my first love but I also love running track. All of my coaches have been supportive and I’ve always been able to concentrate on whatever sport I’m competing in during that season.

“I concentrated on track this past spring and summer and I’m now ready to concentrate on football. I’m looking forward to getting back together with my football teammates and having a great senior season.”

Muschamp also commented on Demps’s decision and conveyed his excitement for having Florida’s leading rusher in 2010 returning to the sidelines as expected.

“As I stated last week in Birmingham, Jeff Demps will be joining our football program when our squad reports for camp on Aug. 5 and when we start practice on Aug. 6,” Muschamp added. “I met with him today and Jeff is looking forward to focusing on football for his upcoming senior season.”

Rumors about Demps possibly forgoing his final year of eligibility to go professional in track were fueled two weeks ago with various reports stating he had yet to make up his mind and was even considering a lucrative offer from Nike. However, his high school football coach told OGGOA on July 16 that no such move would take place.

“I spoke with Jeff [Friday] night and he has every intention to be a member of the football team this fall,” South Lake High School coach Walter Banks said. “Jeff also said the thought of leaving the University of Florida has not crossed his mind.”

Demps, who was one of eight Southeastern Conference rushers named to the 2011 Doak Walker Award watch list on July 15, is set to begin the season as Florida’s starting running back. Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is excited about his potential.

“6.53 [seconds in the] 60-meters?,” Weis joked on March 16. “I might be able to figure out something to do with him.”

Photo Credit: Associated Press

17 Comments

  1. cline says:

    One thought keeps crossing my mind about this situation is the importance of being in football shape at the start of camp, especially if you miss the team summer workouts. I am sure Demps has been lifting and working out but I don’t think he can get the same type efficiency while not in G’ville.

    Anyone think that keeping Demps fresh for the 4th quarter will make him more dangerous to break long runs against a defense that has almost played a whole game?

    I am so ready to see the Gators take the field.

    • If Demps has to miss the first two games to get in shape and is 100 percent healthy going into Tennessee, would anyone care? I doubt it.

      • cline says:

        I think it will be interesting to see how they bring him along and who on the team takes to the new system the quickest.

      • g8ter27 says:

        Very true, but I think some of his best training to get in football shape might be to use him a bunch against the first two opponents.

  2. Brett says:

    Demps coming back and being in good health makes me feel much better about this year. Interested to see how Weis uses Jeff and Chris.

  3. Daniel M. says:

    /threadjack

    Wow! Emmanuel Moody signed a free agent contract with Buffalo.

  4. aziatic41 says:

    I would really like for us to use Demps wisely this year. He is not an every down back. I’d like to see us use him more on outside sweep plays as well as on screens to get him in open space. Rainey should also be used this way. Gillislee and Brown should be our power runners. If we can keep Demps and Rainey both healthy the entire season, we’ll have an outstanding chance of winning the SEC East.

  5. Marc Mac says:

    Imagine the media scrutiny if JD decided not to come back. With all the transfers and dismissals Muschamp would be labeled as a coach who can’t keep his players in the program. That might have had impacts on recruiting too. I am pretty stoked to have Demps back, not only for his impact on the field. He is a workhorse in the weightroom and will be a great example for the younger guys.

  6. John S. says:

    Thank God. Glad to have you back Mr. Demps. Hopefully he and the rest of our backs can block in pass protection so we can handle a blitz this year.

  7. GatorNutt says:

    People are ayaing they are glad to have him back, but was he ever really gone? It sems like the whole thing started as a rumor and got blown out of proportion.

  8. npgator says:

    Having the fastest guy in college football can be a huge advantage. I think Demps will have a great season.

  9. Mr2Bits says:

    Whew…..I was afraid I couldn’t yell “Time to die” at my TV every weekend!

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