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.