Demps Confident in Decision to Return
(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
FightinGators.com Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2011


With the questions over and Jeff Demps now set to return for his senior year, Saturday will be the first step of him getting into football shape. In his mind, there wasn’t much of a doubt whether he would return for his final season or not. Despite running for USA Track and Field in Italy, Demps will play one more year for the Gators.

He didn’t deny thinking about leaving. It would be tough for anyone to turn down the money professional track offers to return to being a college student. That’s what Demps did.

“(The decision) was close, but it wasn’t as close as people made it out to be,” Jeff Demps said. “They were saying that I had already decided not to play football, but I was always on the team still but I was just still competing in some track events.”

Demps admitted he wasn’t sure what he would decide when he left for Italy to compete in the IAAF Outdoor World Championships.

“I just wanted to get the feel for it and get the chance to run in the track circuit,” he said.

The experience overseas was one that he won’t forget. Demps was able to compete with and against some of the best runners in the world. Track could be the way he elects to go in the future, but for now, he’ll continue to focus on football. Demps also said that he would like to give the NFL a shot after his senior year at Florida instead of going straight into track.

Going overseas to run gave him a chance to see what life as a professional track athlete would be like.

“It was fun,” Demps said. “I enjoyed it. It was definitely a good experience for me. If I had the opportunity to go back, I would.”

Demps finished fifth in the 100-meter, running “around a 10.1.” His leg cramped up during his first relay, so he wasn’t able to finish it.

When the trip was over, Demps knew he had a decision to make. He was leaning toward returning for his senior season anyway, but discussion with family members and coaches only solidified that in his mind.

“Once I got back I had talked to the team, my parents and the coaches on both sides, football and track, and I wanted to come back and play my senior year,” Demps said.

He returns as the leading rusher from 2011, running for 511 yards in eleven games. He struggled with a foot injury all season that limited his ability to have a large number of carries during the middle part of the season, but he is fully healthy as the Gators start camp.



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