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New England Patriots Sign Silver-Medal Olympian Sprinter Demps

Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The New England Patriots signed Olympic silver-medal sprinter and free-agent running back Jeff Demps, the National Football League team said.

Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed.

Demps, 22, won his medal in the 4x100 relay at the 2012 Games in London, where the U.S. team finished second to Jamaica.

Demps, listed in a release by the team at 5 feet, 7 inches and 191 pounds (170 centimeters and 87 kilograms), wasn’t drafted by an NFL team after making known his intention to focus on a track career. When the Olympics ended, he filed the paperwork to join the league.

Nick Caserio, player personnel director for the Patriots, said Demps was “good with the ball, good speed, caught the ball OK, a little bit undersized.”

Demps had 367 rushing attempts for 2,470 career yards for 6.7-yard average with 23 rushing touchdowns in four seasons at the University of Florida. He also returned 21 kickoffs for 604 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s speed,” agent Daniel Rose told the Associated Press. “If used correctly, he could definitely be a weapon.”

Demps is the only Florida athlete to have won a national championship in two sports with his 2009 football title and multiple indoor and outdoor track championships.

The Patriots, who opened the preseason with a 7-6 win over New Orleans, will host Philadelphia on Aug. 20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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