Spring football is over, and most teams have conducted their offseason testing programs. That makes it the perfect time to roll out our annual Freaks list of the top workout warriors in all of college football (thanks to the help of many coaches and sports information directors around the country):
1. Jeff Demps, RB, Florida Gators
The term "world-class speed" gets tossed around a lot. Demps legitimately has it, as he is a contender to make the 2012 London Olympics as a sprinter. Before enrolling at Florida, Demps shared the world 100-meter junior record with a time of 10.01, enabling him to get a spot at the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials. Since becoming a Gator, he has clocked two sub-10-second 100-meter times (both were wind-aided), and he has continued to get faster. He isn't just the fastest man in college football; he's also the fastest man in college sports (watch a replay of the SEC outdoor track and field championships on ESPN3.com).
Demps -- who led the Gators in rushing last season with 551 yards despite missing some time due to a foot injury -- arrived at Florida weighing 170 pounds, and is expected to play this fall at 188. Gators strength coach Mickey Marotti says the back can squat "an ungodly amount of weight." And despite the added pounds, Demps has gotten faster. "He was a 10.1 guy, is now a 9.9 guy and probably will be a 9.8 guy," said Marotti, who adds that Demps has really improved his acceleration.
Demps isn't actually in the top five Gators when it comes to his first 10 yards. Teammate Chris Rainey's is tops, with a 1.49 10-yard split (Demps is at 1.57), but it's Demps' closing speed that is jaw-dropping. His "flying 20" -- which the Gators gauge as a player's electronic time for the final 20 yards of his 40 -- is a blistering 1.76 seconds. (Both Rainey and former Gators speedster Percy Harvin measured in the 1.8s.)
Ask Marotti about what the freakiest thing about Demps is, though, and you may be surprised.
"It's his work ethic and his motor," Marotti said. "It's really something special. From the time he showed up here through today, it's always full-go. This is an overachieving guy that has a lot of gifts. He has an energy and enthusiasm for everything. People feed off him. They love to be around him. He's the hardest-working guy on our football team and I can't speak for our track coach, but I believe he's probably the hardest working guy on our track team too."