An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School(r), the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring.
Jeff Demps, who is one of 30 candidates for the prestigious award, is coming off an impressive 2010 campaign where he led the Gators in several statistical categories including rushing yards (551), carries (92), yards per game (50.1) and all-purpose yards (927). For his career, Demps has amassed 1,901 yards rushing on 269 carries, a 7.1 average, and 17 touchdowns. His 7.1 yards per carry average ranks second in the nation among returning players. Additionally, the Winter Garden native has tallied 309 yards receiving over his three seasons in the Orange and Blue.
Demps is also a sprinter on the Florida track and field team and has won four individual national titles (2010-60m, 100m and 4x100m relay; 2011-60m) and two NCAA titles with the Gators' indoor track and field squad. He is the first student-athlete in UF history to win a national title in two sports, having been a part of the 2008 BCS National Championship football team.
While Demps has shined on the field and the track during his time in Gainesville, he has also been the definition of a student-athlete. A sociology major who is on track to graduate in the Spring of 2012, Demps holds a GPA over 3.0 and is one of the mainstays in the "Goodwill Gators" program, which offers student-athletes the opportunity to give back to their communities. Through "Goodwill Gators" and a variety of other charitable initiatives, Demps has visited local schools and hospitals, participated in events for children such as "Swamp Field Trips" and field days, and volunteered his time for an anti-bullying campaign all while balancing a busy class load and the rigors of competing at the highest level of two collegiate sports.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.