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.

29 responses to “Jeff Demps focused on Olympics, not the NFL draft

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

    fittytuckin, what sport do you play professionally?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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..

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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

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

  10. 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

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. @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.

  17. 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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