The good news about these guys is that nobody can catch them in a footrace.
The bad news is that they’re seniors.
These guys can run like hell but nobody really knew it last year because of our best buddy, Steve Addazio. Watch the way these guys can fly. If you notice detail, then why don’t you guess where most of their biggest plays (against SEC teams, FSU, and bowl games) were? You guessed it. 2008. With Dan Mullen calling the plays.
Of course, Charlie Weis’s new system will be completely new, but the speed will remain. A lot of other guys could break out, too, like Chris Dunkley, Omarious Hines, Frankie Hammond, Andre Debose, etc. (Speaking of Debose, it’s unbelievable how Addazio never used him. I think that he thought that Debose was a wizard, not a football player. That’s because every time he touches the ball, something magical happens, but I digress.) Anyway, if Debose gets involved the way he should, then Demps and Rainey are freed up because suddenly they’re not the only threats on offense. So if they will succeed, I’ll bet Debose, along with Mike Gillislee, will be tearing up the field too.
Here are their strengths and weaknesses in a nutshell: Both can fly, but there are some differences between them. Demps can shake off hits at a rate far more than his size would suggest, and can block pretty well also. It’s just that he doesn’t know exactly where to block- of course, that could have had to do with Addazio. Rainey, on the other hand, can break tackles as well as anybody, but his blocking is behind Demps’ and he has slightly better hands in the receiving game. Both, however, can catch reasonably well.
So these guys will be utilized with more than just running. Coach Weis gets pissed off when backs whiff on blocks, which was a big issue last year when Mike Gillislee moved left to block a gust of wind and Kelvin Sheppard came in untouched for an easy sack. So look for them to be involved in blitz pickups, too.
Basically, these guys can do it all. If Charlie Weis uses them right, they will. To finish this post, I want to touch on one more thing: how this affects Brantley. As Ryan mentioned, Brantley’s confidence is badly shaken and needs a big boost early in the season. He needs to regain leadership, but in order to do that, he’s got to have something go right for Florida. He needs a big confidence booster for the Gators as a team.
What better can you think of than Demps or Rainey breaking a big one to start their senior season?