Its official: Purifoy declares for NFL Draft
In an unsurprising move, junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy has declared for the 2014 National Football League Draft. The news was made official by Florida Monday afternoon.
"There are a lot of factors that go into making these individual and personal decisions and I'm 100 percent supportive of Loucheiz's choice to enter into the NFL Draft,'' Gators coach Will Muschamp said in an official statement. "Loucheiz has come a long way from when I sat in his living room with his family during the recruiting process and he also knows his work is not done.
Purifoy came to Gainesville as a four-star prospect out of Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest in 2011 and immediately found a role on special teams as a freshman. He recorded 27 tackles while playing in kickoff and punt coverage as well as a reserve role on defense.
His play earned him a full-time role defensively the following two seasons. During his sophomore and junior seasons, Purifoy recorded a combined 75 tackles while forcing four fumbles, breaking up 12 passes, blocking three kicks and recording two interceptions.
Purifoy was hyped as possible having an offensive role in 2013 but only ended up with one carry for 15 yards.
"I have had a great three years at the University of Florida, but at this time I think it's best for me and my family to pursue a career in the NFL,'' Purifoy said in an official statement. "Coach Muschamp and coach Travaris Robinson have put me in a position to take the next step. I know there is still a lot of work for me ahead, but I appreciate what everyone at Florida did to get me to this point.
"As much as I look forward to playing in the NFL, I will miss my teammates and coaches and look forward to watching them play next year."
After a 4-8 season, Purifoy is likely one of three underclassmen Gators seriously considering a jump to the NFL. Linebacker Ronald Powell and cornerback Marcus Roberson have yet to make a public decision.
Todd McShay of Scouts Inc. has Purifoy projected as a first-round selection and the No. 5 defensive back in the draft. He currently has him listed as the No. 26 overall selection. The NFL Draft is scheduled for May 8-10 in New York City.
"We wish him nothing but the best of luck and watching him on Sundays," Muschamp said in an official statement. "As we have with other former Gators, we encourage him to return to Florida and finish his degree."