Jeff Demps to stick with football, HS coach says

By Adam Silverstein
July 16, 2011

Though fans have wondered whether or not Florida Gators senior running back Jeff Demps would eventually give up football to concentrate solely on track & field for a while, there was never any indication that such a decision was actually being made. Then on Friday night, a tweet from a Jacksonville, FL sports director coupled with some internet rumors got the speculation going full steam.

However, according to Walker Banks, the head football coach at South lake High School where Demps played, arguably the fastest player in college football already has his mind made up, just like it has been for the last few years.

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

Demps has not been with the team full-time for spring practice or summer workouts because he has been competing with the Gators and United States track & field teams. He is currently overseas in Italy with Team USA but will be returning soon and plans to get right back into football shape.

“I would be extremely shocked if Jeff was not a member of the football team next fall,” Banks added. “Jeff has made it extremely clear his first priority is playing football.”

Demps, who was one of eight Southeastern Conference rushers named to the 2011 Doak Walker Award watch list on Friday, 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.”

Thanks to‘s Andrew Spivey for contributing to this post.

Photo Credit: Associated Press


  1. CeeThree says:

    um.. thank God, didn’t even know the rumor was seriously out there.

  2. caligator says:

    Why wouldn’t Demps wear the #1 jersey this season? Thank God those rumors are bunk… GO GATORS

  3. SC Gator says:

    Was this really an issue? Never doubted his return.

  4. cline says:

    I am so ready for some football.

  5. jay d says:

    Demps is gunna shine ….no matter which sport or sports he plays…this is his year!! He will rush for 1000 this year if he stays healthy all season..we have won our last 2 NC’s solely on speed..and until someone can consistently shut down a fast team with strength…I’m gunna side with speed every time

  6. aziatic41 says:

    Hopefully Demps can stay healthy this year. Really looking for a big season from him this year. In the prostyle offense with a fullback and more powerful blockers in front of him during his carries, that should minimize his injuries. Also with a mastermind OC like Charlie Weis calling the plays, Demps should be able to get more touches with the ball in space on screens, sweeps, etc.

    Also, would like to see Gillisee and Mack Brown get some carries this year because both Demps and Rainey are smaller backs. If we can keep Demps and Rainey both healthy for the entire season we should not have a problem winning at least 9 or 10 games.

  7. npgator says:

    Adam – thanks for the good news! A healthy Demps is dangerous!

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