Demps Gives Up Football, Focused on Track

Florida running back Jeff Demps has played his last football game. The South Lake High School product turned down the money he could've made for running track out of high school and again before his senior season at Florida. After completing his eligibility in Gainesville, Demps will turn his focus to the track.

Demps thought about seeing if he could create a spot for himself in the NFL, but he put that aside to focus on track. His goal is to earn a spot in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The decision didn't take much time for Demps to figure out before he made up his mind.

"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,'' Jeff Demps told "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."

Instead of preparing for the NFL Combine or workouts for NFL teams, Demps will rejoin the Florida track team. He began working out with the Gators this week and could return to competition as soon as February 3-4 at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet.

Demps is the two-time defending NCAA Indoor 60-meter champion and set a 100-meter junior world record with a 10.01-second time at the 2008 Olympic Trails.

"The biggest thing for me - and Jeff and I have talked about this a lot since last summer - I just wanted Jeff to be happy,'' Holloway said. "Jeff has never really been a full-time track guy. He has always been a guy that played football and ran track. For him to have accomplished the things he has accomplished is phenomenal.

The Gators open the season ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Poll that was released earlier this week.

"I'm ecstatic. Obviously it's big for our program. Jeff brings a different kind of energy to the track. When the other guys see him out there working as hard as he does, it gets them to step their game up a bit. We are a big family out here and he's a member of the family.''

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