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Jeff Demps focused on Olympics, not the NFL draft

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Florida running back Jeff Demps has decided not to try to be the fastest man at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, because he’d rather see if he can become the fastest man in the world.

Demps, whose final college football game was Florida’s Gator Bowl win over Ohio State, announced today that he is putting all of his focus on track and field in an effort to qualify for the Summer Olympics.

“Once I got done with the Gator Bowl, I kind of already had my mind made up, it was just when was I going to tell everyone,” Demps said through Florida’s web site. “I enjoy track and it’s something I love to do. When I’m out here, I’m enjoying myself and having fun with the guys. I wanted to come back and run. It’s somewhat of an individual sport, but it’s also a team sport. You win championships as a team.”

As an 18-year-old splitting his time between track and football, Demps ran a 10.01-second 100-meter dash at the 2008 Olympic trials. He’s hoping that with the spring to focus on nothing but track he’ll run well enough to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

It’s still possible that some NFL team will draft Demps or sign him as an undrafted free agent, either if he doesn’t make the Olympic team or after the Olympics end in August. Demps ran for 2,470 yards and 23 touchdowns and averaged 28.8 yards per kickoff return at Florida.

But at the moment, Demps says he’s a sprinter, not a running back.

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29 Responses to “Jeff Demps focused on Olympics, not the NFL draft”
  1. jaggedmark says: Jan 12, 2012 6:38 PM

    The Olympics is the world’s largest combine.

  2. ijr213 says: Jan 12, 2012 6:44 PM

    And that team that will draft him is the Oakland Raiders.

  3. fittytuckin says: Jan 12, 2012 7:04 PM

    Good luck becoming wealthy by running track. LMAO

  4. aaroncurryisbust says: Jan 12, 2012 7:13 PM

    Ha! This is his way of admitting he can’t cut in a real man’s sport like the NFL.

  5. gerard33 says: Jan 12, 2012 7:17 PM

    Track, at that level, is a man’s sport believe me.

    fittytuckin, what sport do you play professionally?

  6. raider23mike says: Jan 12, 2012 7:20 PM

    Guess his Draft value will drop down. Enter the Raiders.. Move aside McFadden

  7. fittytuckin says: Jan 12, 2012 7:28 PM

    @gerard33 says:

    Women

  8. pantherskorea says: Jan 12, 2012 7:31 PM

    The could never work for him, oh wait, let’s ask Michael Bates 1992 Olympic bronze medalist and five-time NFL All-pro. I bet he has something to say about it.

  9. poiuyt7 says: Jan 12, 2012 7:32 PM

    He better bring his times down if he wants to get out of the first round at the Olympics. Unless he can find the same drugs the Jamaicans are using.

  10. localbandhero says: Jan 12, 2012 7:50 PM

    Lol at people at a desk talking smack on a kid trying to follow his dreams. He’ll make more than you whether he does the draft or not.

  11. yaryers says: Jan 12, 2012 7:51 PM

    It’s almost like some of the people commenting don’t realize that Al Davis is dead.

  12. ee00ee says: Jan 12, 2012 7:58 PM

    More power to this kid! I respect his choice to compete and represent his country.

    To those who don’t understand what this means. There will be dozens of RB entering the NFL this year. How many of those could even consider making the Olympics? 1 maybe 2..

  13. jebdamone says: Jan 12, 2012 8:06 PM

    i think all sports and the Olympic games would benefit greatly from more athletes choosing to do this. professional athletes in this country are some of the best in the world and it would add more excitement to see how they stack up in olympic events against the rest of the world.

  14. briang123 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:08 PM

    This is his shot. The prime of his life. I hope he is able to represent us in London. God Bless America.

  15. 1bigtex says: Jan 12, 2012 8:40 PM

    @ pantherskorea
    You are aware that he was only All Pro once, right.

  16. nyyjetsknicks says: Jan 12, 2012 8:49 PM

    People are talking bad about a guy that wants to win a gold medal for this country? Awesome. Anyone want to bed the haters in this thread currently live in their mom’s basement?

  17. goforthanddie says: Jan 12, 2012 8:56 PM

    You go young man. Gold is worth more than green.

  18. andyreidisfat says: Jan 12, 2012 9:21 PM

    Demps is most likely to small to play long term in the nfl and since he has chosen track he will most likely slim down even more so I am thinking any shot he had at the pros is over

  19. mikebinrookline says: Jan 12, 2012 9:30 PM

    Good for him. I’m certainly going to be rooting for this kid!
    It’s not even worth commenting on anyone disparaging his decision.

  20. missouriman4ever says: Jan 12, 2012 9:47 PM

    The kids going for a dream of his and not just chasing money. He ran a 10.01 as an 18 year old. Id say if he works hard he will do great things in track.

    Best wishes Jeff. Good luck and ill be following your progress

  21. noahbird says: Jan 12, 2012 9:59 PM

    Fittytuckin, Bolt is making mad cash compared to most athletes period.

  22. puckdafackers says: Jan 12, 2012 10:10 PM

    i love when someone get boxxxxed

    gerard33 says:
    Jan 12, 2012 7:17 PM
    Track, at that level, is a man’s sport believe me.

    fittytuckin, what sport do you play professionally?

  23. ronswansonsdinner says: Jan 12, 2012 10:14 PM

    As a Gator fan, I wish nothing but the best for you Demps! You are definitely the fastest Gator of alltime.

  24. contraryguy says: Jan 12, 2012 10:15 PM

    Perfect time for one of the better franchises (one with few needs) to toss a 6th or 7th round comp pick at him.

    The last track and field events are August 11th (including 4x100m which I think he may be going for). Fly back in mid-August, workout with the practice squad, wait for your chance. Could work. Best of luck to him.

  25. contraryguy says: Jan 12, 2012 10:24 PM

    The other thing is that if he doesn’t make it, he and the team drafting him would know by early-mid July (tryouts end July 1). Seems like a safe bet to me.

  26. t16rich says: Jan 12, 2012 10:49 PM

    goforthanddie says:Jan 12, 2012 8:56 PM

    You go young man. Gold is worth more than green.

    Listen to this man. He’s right. Gold is like $2000 an ounce, weed is no where near that.

  27. randomcommenter says: Jan 13, 2012 12:11 AM

    Demps may be under the impression that he gets an automatic berth in the Olympic finals just because he played in the SEC.

    What am i saying, no legitimate sport would allow a participant in their final without winning their preliminary group. That would be crazy.

  28. pantherskorea says: Jan 13, 2012 8:14 AM

    @1bigtex

    Yep, refreshed my memory using wikipedia instead of pro-football-reference…

    Wouldn’t mind my Panthers trying to get a little of that track speed back into our return game.

  29. heyyoubehindthebikeshed says: Jan 13, 2012 9:38 AM

    Dude has bigger balls making that decision than just going straight into the draft. He’ll get his shot at NFL after 2012, may not get this shot at Olympics ever again.

    I don’t even like the Gators, but wish all the best to Jeff. Bring it home baby!!

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