Jeff Demps Just Keeps on Running

Urban Meyer constantly talks about wanting to have the fastest football team in America. He certainly appears to be close to that in each of the last four seasons, but one thing is certain. He has the fastest player in the country in junior running back Jeff Demps.

The speedster proved his credentials off the football field earlier this year when he blazed through the 60-meter dash in 6.57 seconds to win the NCAA Indoor Championship. Jeff Demps followed that up in June when he went outdoors and blitzed the field in the 100 meters with a time of 9.96 seconds. The Gators won the NCAA Title Indoors making Demps the only Gator Athlete to compete for national championship teams in two sports.

But Demps is not a track star trying to play football --- the name John Capel may ring a bell. He's a legit football player who has proven himself in his first two Gator seasons. Demps has carried the ball 177 times in his Gator career, gaining 1,350 yards (7.6/carry) and scoring 14 touchdowns. He has also caught 23 passes for 193 yards and a score. He has scored more touchdowns than any returning Gator player.

Demps talked about his upcoming season, how football helps him in track and vice versa and more.


On the offense without Tim Tebow:

"It won't be too different. I think you'll see the running back spot carry the ball more. It's exciting just to give us feeling of getting the ball around crunch time and seeing what the running backs can do with it."

Has track success changed the way he looks at football?

"No, not at all. Just because I had a good track season at the end of the day I'm still a football player."

On possibly running in the 2012 Olympics:

"One day I hope I could run in the Olympics and maybe get a medal, but as of now all I'm concentrating on is football."

On being the only Gator to win a national championship in two sports:

"It means a lot. I was kind of surprised when I first heard about it with all the great two sport athletes that have come through. It's a real great thing for me."

On how doing both helps him in both:

"As far as speed track definitely helps with my speed and explosiveness. With football (it helps in track) because of the explosiveness you need to be a 60-meter guy and the conditioning for longer races."

I talked with Demps about how Meyer always talks about going as hard as you can for six seconds, which is just about what it takes to run the 60 meters. I asked him about that parallel.

"I really never thought about it like that, but it is kind of funny. We all have that motto, go hard four-to-six seconds. I guess the 60 is about six seconds so it all matches up at the end of the day."

On the chance he'll be returning kickoffs:

"I'm not sure, but I think I'll be back there. That's something I would like to do."

On how John Brantley is handling things:

"He's not a show boat or a cocky guy. He's real down to earth. He can walk around guys treat him like he's just a normal person and he leads by example each and every day."


Here's a prediction: Jeff Demps will be the first 1,000-yard runner Urban Meyer has had at Florida.

Fightin Gators Top Stories