A Sun Blog

Gators Gone Pro

Tracking former UF athletes through their professional sports careers

Demps set to debut against team that coveted him

Updated with how Jeff Demps fared Jeff Demps went through his first NFL practice Wednesday at One Buc Place in preparation for his debut Friday night. That proved to be a timely tease for Tampa Bay, which had pushed to get him in a Buccaneers jersey. Instead, he chose to join the Patriots, who held joint practices with the Bucs prior to their preseason game at 7:30 p.m. However, when it comes to Demps, this game won’t be about the… Read More »

Hit delivered to Rainey stokes concussion talk

Chris Rainey received what he called a “Welcome to the National Football League” type of hit on Sunday. There’s no doubt commissioner Roger Goodell has seen it, and he may have to look at it a second time. On just the third play from scrimmage in the Steelers’ preseason win over the Colts, the former Gator running back took the handoff on a reverse and showed what he’s equipped to do. He used his blazing speed to turn the corner… Read More »

Demps is 6th Gator to join Patriots; how does he fit?

Updated with the Giants cutting Justin Trattou, but reportedly signing Marcus Thomas. Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, Jermaine Cunningham, Jabar Gaffney, Gerard Warren and now Jeff Demps. The former Gator running back, who told NFL teams he’d be focusing on a full-time track career before April’s draft, will join those five UF alums in New England after signing with the Patriots on Friday. Demps flew home to Orlando to meet with his representatives and go over the details of the deal… Read More »

Demps files paperwork to play in NFL this season

Fresh off a silver medal in London, Jeff Demps wants to come back home to football. The former Gator football and track star has filed paperwork with the NFL and wants to start playing this season, according to NFL.com. April’s draft came and went, and Demps’ name was never called after telling teams he would be a full-time track athlete. However, Demps has signed a standard representation agreement for football with the goal of playing in the 2012 season, a… Read More »

Ingram, Rainey, Thompson, Wright shine in preseason

Four Gators had great performances on Thursday night in NFL preseason action. CORNELIUS INGRAM How awesome is it to not only see Ingram healthy and back on the field, but grabbing a touchdown? The former Gator tight end and Hawthorne star finished with two catches for 45 yards and this 25-yard touchdown from fourth-string quarterback Adam Weber. I know it’s only preseason, but that score has to do wonders for C.I., who’s suffered from multiple ACL tears. Ingram led the team… Read More »

Haden connected to Adderall trend in young players

If Browns cornerback Joe Haden does miss four games for testing positive for Adderall, he wouldn’t be the first young player to pay extra for the prescription medicine. On Wednesday, ESPN Cleveland first reported that the third-year standout from Florida failed a routine drug test in which he tested positive for Adderall, which is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Haden would lose $1.356 million, the sum of four game checks, if he is suspended. He would also be… Read More »

Janoris quickly showing Rams his star potential

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis has come to symbolize many things. Among them, the monument in the sports-savvy city accurately depicts the rise, peak and fall of any athlete’s career. The ascent just as steep as its descent. That rings especially true for the Rams’ high-risk, high-reward rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins. But so far, the team’s second-round pick has earned nothing but notable praise from his coaches, teammates and analysts. After just three days of camp, Jenkins began practicing… Read More »

Rainey solidifying big role in Steelers’ new offense

The foundation of Chris Rainey’s NFL career couldn’t have been constructed any better even if it was made of steel. Judging by the significant amount of reps that the running back is getting in Pittsburgh’s training camp, he figures to be a big part of the Steelers’ offense. And there are numerous reasons why. First of all, new offensive coordinator Todd Haley had a special plan for Rainey when Pittsburgh took him in the fifth round of April’s draft. While… Read More »

Murphy suddenly reunited with Cam in Carolina

When quarterback Cam Newton’s Panthers traded for receiver Louis Murphy on Monday, the two got exactly what they needed. Not because of any small sample of chemistry they may have developed during their brief time together as Gators, but because of how they need each other now as professionals. On one hand, Murphy is hoping Newton can help revive his career much the same way he resuscitated star wideout Steve Smith’s with a sparkling rookie season in 2011. Murphy led… Read More »

Cooper pushed to spread his wings now with Eagles

When he finally got his time to shine, “Sunshine” did just that. It was a painstaking wait for Philadelphia receiver Riley Cooper, but it happened in Week 11 when he got his first start of the season. The Eagles had a big game against the NFC East-rival Giants with Vince Young filling in for Michael Vick at quarterback and Cooper stepping in for second option Jeremy Maclin. Cooper finished with a team-high 12 targets and had 5 catches for 75… Read More »