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Deion Branch: Jeff Demps is already the fastest guy on the team

08.24.12 at 12:52 pm ET
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Jeff Demps had 2,470 career rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in four seasons at Florida. (AP)

He’s only been around a few days, but Jeff Demps has already caught the eye of his new teammates. Demps, who was part of the United States silver medal-winning 4×100-meter relay team, has flashed some world-class speed on the football field.

“Trust me, this guy is a world-class sprinter,” said wide receiver Deion Branch, who said he followed Demps’ career prior to his Olympic stint. “The speed that he’s displaying on the football field isn’t surprising. It is what it is; he’s everything we thought he was.”

Prior to Demps’ arrival, it was believed that wide receiver and special teamer Matthew Slater was the fastest guy on the roster. Slater, who was one of the best sprinters in California as a high schooler, reportedly ran a 4.30 40 as a collegian.

“[Demps is] the fastest guy on the team but clearly Slater is another fast guy, I mean a very fast guy,” Branch said. “Who knows? I mean if this guy truly probably put a little more emphasis on running track, he would probably be the same.”

The 22-year-old Demps, who checks in at 5-foot-9 and 181 pounds, had a standout career with the Gators, finishing with 2,470 career rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in four seasons. And after only a few practices, Branch said it’s clear that Demps is different than some track guys who feel that they have the speed necessary to give football a try.

“You have to remember that football speed and track speed are two different speeds,” Branch said. “You could get a track guy who can run the 40, but he may not run as fast competing and playing on the football field. That’s not the same with Demps, though. He runs fast period. But I’ve been around the game where I’ve seen a bunch of track guys try to play football and it just didn’t work out. But this guy naturally is a football player blessed with that speed.”

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