It seems like yesterday that Demetric Felton was running rampant in the Southwestern League as one of Great Oak High School’s top running backs. The 2016 graduate amassed almost 3,000 rushing yards, scoring over 40 touchdowns in high school before graduating early that spring and heading to the Pac-12 at University of California Los Angeles. As a Bruin, Felton has taken charge in the offensive game plan, but more so as a receiver.
“I only started playing running back halfway through my junior year of high school,” Felton said. “Before that, I was playing receiver. That experience made me extremely comfortable at both positions.”
In 2019, Felton saw action in all 12 games with two starts for University of Cincinnati and Oregon State University. He was named a midseason All-America by CBSSports.com and The Associated Press and set a University of California Los Angeles record for running backs with 55 receptions on the season. The running back/receiver also set a school record with four scoring plays of at least 75 yards on the season (75-yard receptions at Cincinnati, 94-yard receptions at Washington State, 100-yard kickoff return at Washington State, 75-yard run versus Oregon State), ran for a season-high 111 yards against Oregon State, had multiple receptions in all 12 games and had a season-best of nine catches in that same game against the Beavers.
Felton has speed and versatility, which make him a huge weapon for the university, but it also puts him high on the radar for the NFL. He recently spoke exclusively with Draft Wire about how he’s been spending his time during the COVID-19 quarantine, which NFL players he models his game after, and what’s next for him amid all the questions surrounding the 2020 college football season. Here are the some of the key takeaways from that interview.
When it comes to staying in shape and keeping up with a complete weight training regimen throughout the pandemic, Felton said it was difficult in the beginning.
“Everything was shut down. Thanks to the friends and family I have back home, I was able to work out in a friend’s garage. For the on-field work, I just had to hop the fence at my old high school,” he said, laughing.
University of California Los Angeles was allowed to resume workouts as a team in mid-June, so that is when Felton returned to the area. He said he also did some on-field workouts with a few NFL players as well. That, of course, begs the question, does he see himself as a running back or a wide receiver at the next level?
“I get this question a lot,” he said. “I always just say that I’m a football player. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. I’m going to produce wherever you put me at. I can play running back and run it up the middle. I can run routes out of the backfield. I can line up at receiver and do that as well. I am a versatile offensive weapon. I just need the ball in my hands for me to make plays.”
Who are some of his favorite NFL players that he enjoys watching and who does he model his game after?
“I really enjoyed watching De’Anthony Thomas and Tavon Austin. I feel like those are two skill players that can play in the backfield or as a slot receiver. I always try to emulate those two guys. I appreciate their skill sets. I see a lot of similarities in myself. Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara tape. Both of those guys do a great job running through the tackles. They also catch the football at such a high level. That’s something I’ve been trying to perfect. I’ve taken a lot from those two guys right there.”
Felton is also noted as a big sneaker collector and is said to be huge into video games. So, what kept him busy the most during quarantine?
“I’ve been playing a lot of Call of Duty,” he said. “We play some Madden, as well, but it’s mostly Call of Duty. We’ve been going hard on that. I play with some guys that I grew up with, guys I attended high school with. I also play with a bunch of my teammates at UCLA. I’ve definitely spent a little more time on there than usual. It’s been a lot of fun since we haven’t been able to connect as easily with everything going on.”
What’s next for Demetric Felton?
“I hope we can play some sort of college football this season. Even if it is just a few games in the spring, I would really enjoy that. As for the NFL, I’m looking forward to getting a shot to play when that time comes,” he said.
Though there is much uncertainty about what the college football season will actually look like, it was reported earlier this week that the Pac-12 has a plan for a six-game football season starting in winter, according to sources. The schedule would consist of five conference games and then hopefully a final, sixth game against a Big Ten opponent. It might potentially include an interconference, Rose-Bowl-like championship game.
The season would start Saturday, Feb. 6, and run through March 13, with no bye weeks, and there would be a two-week period from March 13-27 that would be left open for any games that had to be postponed and rescheduled. The preseason would consist of a long ramp-up, providing enough time for each program to deal with any COVID-19 complications. It’s not known how committed the Pac-12 is to this six-game scenario, but so far, it is the primary schedule the conference is focused on at this time.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.