Thursday, August 16, 2012
Tebow to help recruit Demps
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The Jets are "very interested" in free-agent RB Jeff Demps, his agent told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday, and they've turned to an inside source for intel on the Olympic silver medalist.
Tebow and Demps played two seasons together at Florida, 2008 and 2009, and Tebow said Jets management came to him to pick his brain on his former college teammate. A few minutes before his media session on Thursday, Tebow chatted for several minutes with GM Mike Tannenbaum.
"They asked me about him," Tebow said. "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."
Tebow said he's planning to reach out to Demps "as a friend," no doubt to relay the Jets' sales pitch.
Demps' agent, Daniel Rose, said the player might work out for a couple of teams before making a decision. As of midday Thursday, it wasn't known if the Jets are one of those teams, but it's possible. Rose said eight teams have "serious interest," five of which are showing super-serious interest. He said the Jets are in the latter category.
Rex Ryan declined to discuss Demps in his daily news conference.
Demps (5-foot-7, 175 pounds) rushed for nearly 2,500 yards in four seasons at Florida. If he had entered the 2012 draft, he would've been a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent, according to a personnel executive. This is how the executive described Demps: "He a (kick) returner that maybe you can sprinkle in as a role player. He's a wrinkle player, but a luxury player on a tight, 53-man roster. I doubt he'd have an inside presence if they used him in the Wildcat."