Jeff Demps dumps NFL for track

January, 12, 2012
1/12/12
2:39
PM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Jeff Demps said in November that he wanted to give the NFL a try, but the Florida running back has changed his mind and instead plans on concentrating on qualifying for the Olympics and pursuing a professional track career.

Demps told UF track coach Mike Holloway this week that he would run for the Gators in the spring but also wanted to try and qualify for the 2012 London Olympics as a sprinter and then compete internationally, the school announced Thursday.

"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,'' Demps told the school's website. "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."

Demps finished his football career No. 8 on the school's all-time rushing list (2,470 yards). He has run track throughout his football career and is the two-time defending NCAA champion in the indoor 60-meter dash and a four-time national champion. He also set a junior world record in the 100 meters in the 2008 Olympic Trials (10.01 seconds).

Scouts Inc., rates Demps (5-foot-8, 190 pounds) as the No. 11 running back heading into April's NFL Draft, which means he projects as a middle- to late-round selection.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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