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Jeff Demps fits all Bill Belichick, Patriots stand for

Tim Tebow came calling, but Bill Belichick's siren song has won again.

NFL.com and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps signed a three-year contract to play for the New England Patriots.

The Patriots were among a batch of teams that pursued Demps, the free-agent running back who compiled 2,470 yards and 23 touchdowns while at Florida from 2008 to 2011, where he played with Tebow.

The Jets reportedly leaned on their backup quarterback to recruit Demps, but Tebow isn't the only one with Florida ties. Belichick is a longtime friend of former Florida coach Urban Meyer. The Patriots coach logged hours at Meyer's football camps, knows Meyer's players well and covets athletes who excel in multiple roles.

Case in point: Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots tight end who lines up all over the field and even carries the ball upon request. Total Belichick-type. The roots dig, however, deeper than Meyer. This is the same Belichick who first coached with the New York Giants when Dave Megget ran free, and then oversaw a Cleveland Browns team that built its offense around the elusive Eric Metcalf.

Demps, like that pair, is tiny -- 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds -- but his speed and ability to return kicks vibes Danny Woodhead 2.0 (another player Belichick snatched away from the clutches of the Jets).

The Patriots have injuries in the backfield, and New England has nothing to lose by acquiring Demps. He won't break the bank, but he will give Belichick another project to work on -- while Rex Ryan stares out of dark windows over New Jersey, wondering what could have been.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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