Florida Gators Football: UF Players to the NFL Scouting Combine

John PattonContributor IFebruary 8, 2012

GAINESVILLE, FL -  NOVEMBER 5:  Running back Jeff Demps #28 of the Florida Gators runs for a 52-yard touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores November 5, 2011 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  Demps scored in the second quarter. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Invitations have been sent out for late February's NFL Scouting Combine, and three members of Florida's 2011 team have been selected to join former Gator cornerback, Janoris Jenkins, in Indianapolis.

Defensive tackle Jaye Howard, as well as running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey have been asked to attend. Whether Demps makes the trip or not has yet to be announced, though he has already decided he will put his focus on making the United States Olympic Track & Field team before he begins his NFL quest.

No doubt Demps was invited in great part because of the number 4.24.

That is the combine record 40-yard dash time held by two, including All-Pro tailback Chris Johnson (then of East Carolina).

A world-class sprinter, Demps has a great shot at rewriting the record if he does attend.

That said, so might Rainey.

Former UF coach Urban Meyer has joked to the Gator media, and many times during 2011 ESPN game broadcasts, that Florida had college football's fastest player (Demps) and another who thinks he is (Rainey).

But Rainey more than thinks he is fast. He truly is.

While legend has it that Demps won the majority of the races, Rainey has won a 40-yard dash between the two at least once, a story neither athlete disputes.

The combine also will serve as an opportunity for the wildly underrated Howard see where he stacks up next to more coveted prospects.

The belief here is that he will shine, and a player looked at now as a probable late-round NFL draft selection, could work his way into the early-to-mid rounds.

Surprisingly, quarterback John Brantley and wide receiver Deonte Thompson were not invited.

Neither player lived up to his 4/5-star buildup coming out of high school, but they both also look to be draftable prospects.

Now, barring a late change, they'll have to wait for the Gators' pro day to show what they can do.