Gators need Demps' speed on football field

Florida’s Jeffery Demps is having a big indoor track season and just recently turned in a 6.59 in the 60 meters at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.

Demps earned SEC Male Freshman of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. He holds the fastest time in the nation so far this season in the men’s 60-meter dash and currently ranks 15th in the world.

It will be interesting to see how Demps splits his time between spring football and the outdoor track season.

The Gators need a big junior season out of him on the football field, and his speed will be more important than ever next season. With Tim Tebow gone, the Gators won’t be able to grind it out as much on third and fourth down as they did a year ago.

That means they’re going to need more big plays, which is where Demps comes in.

As a freshman, five of his seven touchdown runs were 36 yards or longer. Three of the seven were 40 yards or longer. He also had a 61-yard touchdown catch.

But last season, his longest touchdown run was a 25-yarder against Vanderbilt. That was also his longest run, period, against an SEC defense, and three of his seven touchdowns came in the first two games against outmanned foes Charleston Southern and Troy. He did have a neck sprain late in the season that might have slowed him down some.

Nonetheless, getting the ball to Demps and utilizing his speed will be a key for the Gators as they embark on the post-Tebow era in 2010.