Six Gators make preseason All-SEC


Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps returns a kick against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the second half of the Outback Bowl on Saturday Jan. 1, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium. Florida defeated Penn State 37-24.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 11:14 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 11:14 a.m.

The Florida football team’s 8-5 record in 2010 may have translated into not having one player selected on the Southeastern Conference Coaches’ Preseason first team.

Six Florida players — two second team and four on the third team — were named to the teams, the league announced Thursday: running back Jeff Demps, kicker Caleb Sturgis, linebackers Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins, multi-purpose player Trey Burton and receiver/kick returner Andre Debose.

UF, Auburn and Mississippi State were the only three of the 12-member schools without a player on the first teams.

Alabama had a league-high seven representatives on the first team, Arkansas had a league-high 14 total selections. Georgia had six players on the first team, which was second, while South Carolina had four players and Arkansas had three. Kentucky was the only other school to have multiple members on the first-team with two.

The team is announced each year in advance of the SEC Football Media Days, scheduled for next Wednesday through Friday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.

Demps and Sturgis were both named second-team honorees. Demps has rushed for 1,901 yards and 17 touchdowns during his three seasons in Gainesville. He is coming off a 2010 season in which he led the Gators in several statistical categories including rushing yards (551), carries (92), yards per game (50.1) and all-purpose yards (927). Demps, who also stars for the UF track team as a sprinter, is presently in Ligano, Italy for a U.S. relay camp that runs today (Friday) through Wednesday.

Sturgis, who had a medical redshirt in 2010, was a 2009 Lou Groza Award semifinalist and has converted on 24-of-34 field goals, with a career long of 56 yards.

Bostic and Jenkins represent Florida’s defense on the third team. Bostic is coming off a sophomore season in which he appeared in all 13 games and finishing tied for third on the team with 57 tackles (36 solo and 21 assisted). Bostic recorded three interceptions, ranking him eighth nationally among linebackers. Jenkins, a 2010 SEC All-Freshman team selection, tallied 78 tackles, tops among SEC freshmen and 21st overall in the conference.w

Burton and Debose also represent Florida on the third team. Burton was honored as the third-team all-purpose player after a breakout freshman campaign where he led UF with 12 touchdowns, including a six-touchdown outburst against Kentucky. Debose was honored as the third-team return specialist after a redshirt freshman season in which he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and averaged 28.0 yards per return.

The Gators open the season Sept. 3 when Florida Atlantic travels to Gainesville.

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