Three Gators invited to NFL combine

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's recent struggles on the football field can be seen in its dearth of NFL prospects this spring. Just three Gators were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, Feb. 22-28 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Defensive tackle Jaye Howard will be joined by running backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps.

Howard, who is 6-foot-3, 292 pounds and has experience at defensive end and tackle, may be Florida's top prospect.

Rainey, who stands to gain the most with a fast time in the 40-yard dash, recently promised as much. At the Senior Bowl last month, he told ESPN's GatorNation he had been training in Orlando and honing his 40 time.

“My goal is a 4.1, so y’all be looking out for it,” Rainey said.

Demps is a curious invitee, considering the two-time defending NCAA Indoor 60-meter champion recently announced he was giving up football to focus on his track career and the 2012 Olympics.

In his first indoor meet of the season last weekend, Demps won the men's 60 meters with a time of 6.59, the second-fastest time in the Southeastern Conference this year and the third-fastest in the NCAA.

"Big performance by Jeff Demps this weekend in the 60 in a race where he and I both agreed that was average at best as far as the technical aspect of it," Florida track coach Mike Holloway said on Monday. "But an [NCAA] automatic qualifier, we'll take that."

Demps was named the SEC Men’s Runner of the Week on Tuesday.