Here's Florida quarterback Tim Tebow's assessment of freshman running back Jeffrey Demps.
"Demps is stupid fast," Tebow said.
Considered by many the fastest player in college football, Demps is only a freshman but already has emerged as the Gators' leading rusher (23 carries, 307 yards, four touchdowns). This Okahumpka native is averaging 13.3 yards a carry and, more astoundingly, averaging 47 yards per touchdown run.
Even Demps is surprised.
"I knew that if I worked hard I would see the field but I didn't know I was going to do something like this," Demps said.
Demps surprised LSU's defense Saturday, when he took an option pitch from Tebow for a 42-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, giving No. 5 Florida (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) a 20-point lead. Demps finished with 129 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Florida coaches have been able to use Demps and freshman running back Chris Rainey interchangeably through the first six games, but Demps might be asked to carry more of the load against Kentucky on Oct. 25.
Rainey separated his right shoulder against LSU — a chronic health concern for this former Lakeland High standout — and didn't practice Wednesday. Coach Urban Meyer said Rainey will not participate in contact drills this week. Redshirt sophomore running back Emmanuel Moody is still limping from a high ankle sprain he sustained against Tennessee. Meyer said Moody is questionable for the Kentucky game.
If Demps begins second half of the season as the Gators' featured back, offensive coordinator Dan Mullen said Demps will have earned the honor through hard work.
"He has done an unbelievable job," Mullen said.
"Everything you ask him to do he does it 100 miles an hour, whether it's at practice or during a game, so he really earns that right ... to get that ball more."