Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-Florida Gator Jeff Demps signs with New England Patriots

TAMPA — The Bucs failed in their attempt to land Olympic silver medal-winning sprinter and former University of Florida running back Jeff Demps.

The Patriots announced Friday that Demps signed, reportedly for three years. No financial details were announced.

Demps tweeted Friday that "it's truly an honor."

Bucs coach Greg Schiano on Wednesday acknowledged the team's interest in Demps, saying the club had been in contact with him before Demps left for London, where he earned his medal for participating on the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team.

"If he wasn't a good football player, it wouldn't matter to me," Schiano said. "But he happened to be a good football player as well."

Demps in January declared he was giving up his football career to concentrate on track. But upon returning from the Olympics, he still had NFL opportunities, evidenced by teams that called after he retained agent Daniel Rose.

The Bucs were considered a finalist for Demps, Rose said this week, while noting the number of interested teams grew throughout the week.

Any team could have drafted Demps in April, but teams likely were dissuaded by his stance on continuing his track career.

It's unclear what role Tampa Bay had envisioned for Demps, 22, whose UF experience mostly came in the backfield. He also can play receiver and return kicks and punts; the Patriots need a kick returner.

"Florida has had a track record of some pretty good football players that have come out of there,'' Patriots player personnel director Nick Caserio said.

Ex-Florida Gator Jeff Demps signs with New England Patriots 08/17/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again

    Blogs

    Coming off Sunday's 6 1/2-hour, 15-inning marathon win over the Twins, the Rays will have the pitcher who finished that game, Erasmo Ramirez, start tonight's game in Texas, first pitch 8:05 Tampa Bay time.

    Ramirez threw only 12 pitches on Sunday so the Rays decided to let him make his planned start tonight, …

  2. USF baseball heads to Gainesville for regional play

    Sports

    TAMPA — Had USF's players and coaches been less confident in their NCAA Tournament resume, Monday's selection show might have induced fidgeting, perhaps even frustration.

    South Florida coach Mark Kingston looks on during 2017 American Athletic Conference game Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater during the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls won 7-6.
  3. Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight

    Blogs

    The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and are calling up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

    The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.
  4. Tiger Woods arrested in Florida on DUI charge, released

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  5. After state, academics will trump athletics for King ace Brian Lee

    Baseballpreps

    TAMPA — Brian Lee can still see himself on the pitcher's mound at Venice High School. Four years ago he was a freshman left-handed reliever just trying to keep King's state championship dreams alive.

    King senior pitcher Brian Lee gets another shot at a state title.