Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy will enter the 2014 NFL Draft, according to a report from ESPN's Joe Schad.
Purifoy, a true junior, worked his way up from a supporting role as a special teams dynamo in 2011 to a starting role at cornerback in 2013, and is the first Florida player coached entirely by Will Muschamp to leave early for the NFL Draft.
Purifoy possesses fantastic speed and quickness, but struggles at times with agility in coverage, and has been picked on in his collegiate career, most notably on Saturday, when matched up against Florida State's towering Kelvin Benjamin, and in 2012 against Georgia. He's made up for his coverage issues with phenomenal playmaking skills, though they have mostly been showcased as a blitzer, but, at the NFL level, it may be harder to justify keeping him on the field for his game-changing potential if he does not develop as a cover corner.
Purifoy has routinely been listed as a potential first-round pick throughout his uneven 2013 season, so it is unlikely that the NFL's opinion on him has changed much based on his production — and his physical gifts certainly have not atrophied to the point that they wouldn't be a temptation for any NFL general manager who thinks a great corner must be built on a great foundation.
Purifoy's departure leaves Florida with an expected nucleus of Vernon Hargreaves III, Brian Poole, Cody Riggs, and Nick Washington at cornerback in 2014. Junior Marcus Roberson is also expected to leave Florida and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, though his departure is not as obvious an outcome as Purifoy's was, especially after injury and a suspension wrecked his 2013 season.
As with any Florida player who leaves school to pursue a professional career, we wish Purifoy the best in his journey.