Jeff Demps #28 of the Florida Gators warms up before a game against the UAB Blazers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Gainesville, Florida.
The Patriots made headlines this afternoon when they reportedly agreed to terms with Olympic track athlete and former Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps. Now, the deal has become official, with the team announcing the signing late this evening:
Demps, 22, played in 51 games with 27 starts during his college career at Florida. The 5-foot-7, 191-pounder finished his career with 367 rushing attempts for 2,470 yards for 6.7-yard average with 23 rushing touchdowns. He also returned 21 kickoffs for 604 yards and one touchdown. Demps was also a standout sprinter for the Florida track team and is the only Florida athlete to have won a national championship in two sports with his 2009 football national championship and multiple indoor and outdoor tack titles over his four year.
Demps was a member of the 2012 US Olympic roster as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team that won the silver medal.
This is going to be the type of deal that will be really interesting to see the numbers on. We know that Demps received heavy interest from both the Jets and Buccaneers, so it will be interesting to see if Demps got a lot of guaranteed money from the Patriots.
Demps is a talented, versatile player at Florida who likely would have been drafted in the middle rounds of April's draft, had he not decided to focus on his track career. It's really not out of the question to think that Demps could become an immediate impact contributor for the Patriots on special teams.
As for the outlandish rumors suggesting Danny Woodhead could be on his way out of New England? I don't buy it. The Patriots have an extremely young running back corps, and I believe that Bill Belichick and the coaching staff highly value his experience.