Bucs interested in silver medalist

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are apparently very interested in Olympic silver medalist Jeff Demps. Demps was a running back for the Florida Gators in 2011 and went undrafted this past April. He would have been drafted but he told teams he wanted to focus on track full-time and go for that Olympic Gold. He wound up winning a Silver medal with the 4×100 relay team and has now turned his attention to the NFL.

Sources tell PewterReport.com that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are seriously interested in signing former Florida running back-receiver-return man and Olympics sprinter Jeff Demps in an attempt to upgrade the team’s speed and playmaking ability on offense and special teams. Demps, who has just returned from London where he finished with a silver medal as part of the American 4 x 100-meter relay team, wants to focus on an NFL career with his track career behind him. (Pewter Report)

NFL teams have always had a fascination with sprinters, especially the ones who run the 100 meters but to find one who has a football resume like Demps is quite rare. During his career he ran for 23 touchdowns with 2,470 yards on 367 carries for an average of 6.7 yards per carry. He was also a weapon in the passing game, catching 57 passes for 481 yards.

His biggest asset though his ability to return the ball. Demps returned 61 kicks during his collegiate career and averaged 28.8 with a career long of 99 yards. His ability to return the ball is what will get him a deal and what has to interest the Bucs the most.

Tampa does have a great young returner in Michael Smith, two for 108 yards in preseason Week 1, but if you add a second guy like Demps back there then teams won’t know what to do. They won’t be able to target the teams’ weaker returner as both of these guys could take it to the house at any moment.

If the Bucs do indeed sign Demps they’ll look more like a team showing up for a track meet. Smith runs the 40 in 4.3, Vincent Jackson 4.5 and Tiquan Underwood also runs it in 4.3. They would definitely give opposing defenses fits if all four are on the field at the same time.

Unlike most track guys Demps dream is actually to play in the NFL. Track may have had his focus but he was always working to become the best football player he can. He’s not like most track guys who think they can just sprint past defenders and make a catch. That’s the reason why he’s got a chance to succeed, especially if you listen to his track coach, Mike Holloway.

“In my opinion, Jeff will not be a track guy,” Holloway said. “He’ll be a running back in the NFL. And honestly, that’s what Jeff wants. He wants to be able to contribute to the track program here (at Florida). He wants to help us win the national title. That’s great, but in the big picture Jeff wants to play in the NFL. Football is very important to him and I support that.”(Pewter Report)

Can he get himself a Olympic Silver Medal and a NFL Championship?

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