Notebook: Demps will remain limited


Florida's John Brantley and Jeff Demps watch South Carolina's Josh Dickerson recover a fumble after Demps dropped the ball during a hand-off in the second half in Gainesville Saturday, November 13, 2010.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 11:53 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 11:53 a.m.

There appears to be a good chance Florida tailback Jeff Demps will be available only on a limited basis for the final two games of the regular season.

"He's got a stress reaction in his foot, so he doesn't practice," UF coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday. "It's very frustrating. Jeff is a competitor and one of the most talented guys in the country, and a guy we need. It's been hard.

"He has not been 100 percent really since the Tennessee game, and it's really frustrating because he was our No. 1 playmaker coming into the season. It's been devastating on all fronts."

Demps has started only four games this season and played only a handful of plays in each of the last seven games. His status for Saturday's Senior Day game against Appalachian State is questionable.

"I think any offense you see across the country, if you take their No. 1 playmaker out of the offense, the blow is going to be severe, especially if you are not as strong as in some areas," Meyer said.

Meyer was asked if he will play Demps in the final two games of the season.

"If he's available, yes," Meyer said.

Meyer was then asked why. "To win a game," he said.

Also on the injury front, starting defensive tackle Jaye Howard (knee) practiced Tuesday but still is not at full speed, kicker Caleb Sturgis (back) is out, outside linebacker A.J. Jones (hamstring) is questionable and middle linebacker Jon Bostic is probable with a bruised sternum.

Meyer to evaluate after season

Meyer reiterated Wednesday that the focus is on winning Saturday's game, and that any evaluation of the job the coaches and players have done will come after the season.

Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio has been heavily criticized in the media (and on Internet message boards) in the aftermath of UF's poor offensive performance in last Saturday's loss to South Carolina.

"Well, I've done this for a long time, and I think '05 was the last time that I can remember when there was a lot of that kind of discussion," Meyer said. "I'm usually not a part of it because my obligation is to these football players, this team and this staff. All we're trying to do is win the next game.

"Obviously, there will be accountability. That's our profession, that's what I do, what we do. So, to make it public, to throw players under the bus, coaches under the bus, that's not part of our plan."

Hill says he's coming back

There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether junior safety Will Hill will bolt to the NFL after the season. But he said Wednesday that, at this stage, he plans to return for his senior season.

"I haven't been thinking about it (the NFL)," he said. "I've just been thinking about the season."

Finally, a start for Edwards?

Senior linebacker Lorenzo Edwards will be playing in his 43rd game as a Gator on Saturday. What might make this game different than all those others is there is a chance he will get his first career start.

Edwards said he has been working with the No. 1 defense this week and will find out later in the week if he'll start on Senior Day.

"I've been in the rotation with the ones," Edwards said. "Hopefully, I do get to start. That would be a privilege, especially for Senior Day. I'm just going to take advantage of my opportunity whenever I do get in the game."

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