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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The forecast looks like Rain for the UF track and field team, and it couldn't be happier.

Electrifying tailback Chris Rainey announced this week that he will join the track team for the remainder of the outdoor season.

Though Rainey will not be with the team when the No. 2 Gators make the trip to California on Wednesday for the Azusa Pacific Invitational, he will begin practice with the team this week.

Fellow football teammates Louis Murphy, Wondy Pierre-Louis and Denote Thompson all made the jump from the gridiron to the track during the indoor season, and now Rainey will look to do the same.

Fresh off his breakout performance in the Orange and Blue Debut, Rainey will bring his reported 4.24-second 40-yard dash speed to the track this spring.

Known more for his exploits in Wal-Mart parking lots - where he famously raced West Virginia running back Noel Devine during their senior year of high school - than his prowess on the track, Rainey will try to prove that he is a serious track and field competitor.

"He's only been out here for one day, so it's hard to say how good he's going to be," UF track and field coach Mike Holloway said Tuesday.

Though Rainey was at practice Tuesday, he was not available for comment.

While he may be a newcomer to collegiate track and field competition, Rainey is no stranger to the sport.

A standout high school sprinter, he finished second in the 100-meter state championship as a senior and fourth in the long jump.

He also holds personal records of 10.61 seconds in the 100 and 21.5 seconds in the 200.

While Rainey may not be the next Asafa Powell, he should help to bolster an already strong group of UF sprinters.

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"Chris Rainey is a guy that we recruited to run track as well as play football here at the University of Florida," Holloway said. "I think that he has the potential to help us get better."

Rainey continues the trend of UF football players who have made the transition to track and field during the off-season.

"As long as they can help the team and as long as they have the talent and ability, I have no problem with (athletes from other sports joining the team)," Holloway said. "I have a great relationship with Urban Meyer, and I think that we are on the same page. Those guys were recruited to the University of Florida to do both, and we want them to do both."

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