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Jeff Demps nervous, but ready for his new role in the spotlight



Florida's Jeff Demps was a lifelong Florida State fan until the moment he signed his letter of intent to play for the Gators, so it's not like he grew up dreaming of becoming the starting running back at Florida.

But don't think for a minute he's not thrilled about the prospect of being named the Gators' starter for Saturday's season opener against Charleston Southern.

Demps played in all 14 games as a freshman last season, and even had five starts, rushing for 605 yards and seven touchdowns. But with the departure of Percy Harvin, Demps' role will increase and Florida coach Urban Meyer has said he'll most likely start on Saturday.

"I'll probably be nervous,'' Demps said. "I'm more nervous about stepping out in front of the big crowd again. It's been awhile since I've stepped into the lights and just played in front of the crowd. So that's what I'll be nervous about.''

Demps will join Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Moody as a vital part of the Gators' running back unit, a group which knows it's considered a possible weak link in Florida's offense without Harvin.

"That motivates us a lot,'' Demps said. "We just want to go out and prove people wrong each and every
week, that we can actually run the ball.''

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