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Patriots sign speedster Jeff Demps
Former Florida running back Jeff Demps agreed to a deal with the New England Patriots on Friday.
The Patriots hosted Demps for a workout Thursday and view him as the ultimate specialist because of his speed, hands and experience playing multiple roles. Coach Bill Belichick has leaned heavily on good friend Urban Meyer, who recruited and coached Demps at Florida until last season.
Demps reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds as a junior at Florida, where he was a teammate of Tim Tebow's. He didn't run in the 4x100 final in London, but received a medal for participating in the qualifying round.
Demps went undrafted in April and didn't sign with an NFL team as he trained for the Olympics, but the Buccaneers came close to signing him when Demps originally didn't make Team USA, according to PewterReport.com.
“There's a lot of interest,” agent David Rose told the Tampa Bay Times. “We talked to some teams before the Olympics, but we wanted him to concentrate on the Olympics. Preparing for the Olympics is a very regimented process, and he needed to focus on that.
“At 22 years old, how could you tell a kid not to go to the Olympics?”
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum discussed Demps with Tebow, who played with him at Florida in 2008 and '09.
“They asked me about him,” Tebow said Thursday. “Jeff is a great guy and a great player. He's someone I was proud to play with in college and he did a great job for us. ... Would we love to have him? Absolutely. I'd love to have him as a teammate because I know how hard he works and what he brings to the table.”
Demps could be used as a kickoff returner and third-down back. He had 2,470 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns for the Gators. He averaged 28.8 yards per kickoff return in four seasons at UF.
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