Jeff Demps nominated for 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS award

Florida Gators football player Jeff Demps was named a candidate for the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, by Lowe’s and Premier Sports Management on Monday.

The senior running back is one of 30 candidates for the prestigious award, which is given to a senior exhibiting excellence in the four areas of community, classroom, character and competition.

Last season with the Gators, Demps led the team with 551 rushing yards on 92 carries and 927 all-purpose yards, while averaging over 50 yards per game. In three seasons on the Florida football team, Demps has totaled 1,901 yards rushing on 269 carries and 17 touchdowns. His 7.1 yards per carry average ranks second in the nation among returning players.

Demps is also a sprinter on the Florida track and field team and has won four individual national titles during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and two NCAA titles with the Gators’ indoor track and field squad.

In 2010, Demps became the first student-athlete in Florida history to win a national title in two sports, adding to his 2008 BCS National Championship ring won against Oklahoma in Miami.

Demps’ will to win has also translated in the classroom where he holds a GPA higher than a 3.0 as a sociology major.

The eventual Spring of 2012 graduate is also one of the mainstays in the “Goodwill Gators” program, which offers student-athletes the opportunity to give back to their communities. Through “Goodwill Gators” and a variety of other charitable initiatives, Demps has visited local schools and hospitals, participated in events for children such as “Swamp Field Trips” and field days, and volunteered his time for an anti-bullying campaign.

The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.