Jeff Demps now healthy and dominating on the track
This year, Demps is proving that if healthy, he is a serious force to reckon with on the track.
The sophomore is a two-time SEC Male Freshman of the Week selection this season and currently holds the nation’s top time in the men’s 60-meter dash - 6.59 seconds. Demps won the 60m at the prestigious Tyson Invitational and co-holds the school record in that event with teammate Terrell Wilks.
Demps, Wilks and Jeremy Hall (6.62) are all current members of the Gator team who happen to be the top three 60-meter sprinters in Florida history.
But Florida head track coach Mike Holloway is slow to take credit for Demps' success this season, saying he and his staff are only nurturing a God-given talent.
"The biggest thing Jeff did was he chose the right parents,'' Holloway said. "He's an incredibly talented athlete, I don't take a whole lot of credit for that. Obviously we've trained him and got him going in the right direction. But I think what you're seeing out of Jeff is last year he was hurt and he wasn't able to lift, he wasn't able to do the things you need to do to be a great sprinter. But he's able to do those things now and the performances are showing that. We expect great things out of Jeff, and more importantly, Jeff expects great things out of himself.''
Although he is known for his extremely quiet demeanor on the football field, Holloway said Demps has slowly turned into a valuable leader on the Gators' track squad.
"I think what Jeff also does is he's that linchpin that gets the other guys going,'' Holloway said. "He challenges the other guys, whether it be Calvin (Smith) in the 400 or Jeremy Hall and Terrell Wilks. He's a leader on the team. He wants to be the guy that will help the whole team get better.''
And even though he's been part of a national championship football team and was the starter on the football team this past season, Demps is just another member of the team when he's on the track.
"I think the big thing about Jeff is he doesn't walk out there and want special treatment,'' Holloway said. "He wants to be pushed as hard, if not harder, than everybody else. And trust me, we treat him like we treat everybody else out there. He's a great young man and we're glad he's on our track team.''
The Florida track and field teams will compete at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday through Sunday at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Florida is looking for its first league indoor championship since 2004.
The meet begins at 2 p.m.Friday with the multi-events and continues at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Live results will be available at www.flashresults.com and complete up-to-the-minute coverage will be available at www.twitter.com/GZTrackField.