Football

College football notes: Gators' Demps focusing on track; Tide losing trio

Florida running back Jeff Demps is giving up his football career to focus on track and the 2012 Olympics.

Demps wants to vie for a spot on the U.S. track and field team. So he won't attend any college football all-star games or take part in any NFL Draft workouts.

"I can have the mindset of a full-time track guy now," Demps said.

The senior started training with Florida's track team this week, and he hopes to return to competition at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet next month. He plans to lose about 15 pounds off his 190-pound playing weight.

Demps finished his career with 2,470 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns. He had 569 yards rushing and six touchdowns this past season. He also was a stellar kickoff returner, averaging 28.8 yards a return in his four-year career.

Around the nation

Alabama: The champion Tide will again try to keep rolling after losing three underclassmen to the NFL Draft.

All-Americans Trent Richardson, Dont'a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick are leaving school early.

Richardson and Kirkpatrick are both projected as potential top 10 picks and Hightower is also regarded as a potential first-rounder.

Alabama had a school-record four first-round selections last year, including underclassmen Marcell Dareus, Julio Jones and Mark Ingram.

Wisconsin: Quarterback Russell Wilson has told the Colorado Rockies he will play in the NFL rather than stay in the baseball team's minor- league system.

Wilson made up his mind after he helped Wisconsin reach the Rose Bowl. A transfer from North Carolina State, Wilson became the first Badgers quarterback to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season.

LSU: All-America cornerback Morris Claiborne and defensive tackle Michael Brockers have decided to leave school a year early to enter the NFL Draft.

Claiborne led LSU with six interceptions this season and returned one for a touchdown. He won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.

Oklahoma: The school is bringing brothers Bob and Mike Stoops back together, hoping to rekindle the program's defensive dominance of a decade ago.

Mike Stoops was the co-defensive coordinator for Oklahoma from 1999 to 2004 and helped the Sooners win the 2000 national title before spending seven seasons at Arizona, which fired him.

Clemson: Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele won't return to the Atlantic Coast Conference champions next season. Steele and his defense had come under heavy criticism after allowing a bowl-record 70 points in the Tigers' loss to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl last week.

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