Finishing up our trio of "lessons learned" posts, let us consider Loucheiz Purifoy's 2013.
- On the second night of the year, he spent 60 minutes getting torched by Teddy Bridgewater and DeVante Parker — NFL players both, to be sure, but players who picked on him mercilessly.
- He was arrested for marijuana possession in February, and had the charges dropped in March.
- By the middle of the spring, this was all forgotten, and Purifoy was appearing on pre-preseason watch lists, getting All-American hype, and popping up in the first round of mock drafts.
- Scott Carter wrote a strong and positive feature on Purifoy in July, framed around the fact that his mother needed a kidney.
- His season began with a suspension — for who knows what, wink, wink.
- Once he returned, he was a difference-maker early on, blocking a punt against Miami and returning an interception for a touchdown against Arkansas.
- All that promise evaporated once again, as LSU's Zach Mettenberger and Odell Beckham, Jr. — again, both NFL players — abused him in Death Valley.
- Purifoy was never quite the same after that, and was totally annihilated by Jameis Winston and Kelvin Benjamin in his final game as a Gator, then declared for the NFL Draft in under five minutes after the final whistle.
Few players in recent Florida history have been more adept at taking steps forward and then back than Purifoy, and his 2014 — which includes another run-in with Gainesville police and him not being taken in the 2014 NFL Draft — has been even less positive than his checkered 2013 was. (And, every time you hear about players being "individually motivated" or "playing for themselves" in 2013, remember that Purifoy is absolutely one of the guys they're mentioning without saying his name.)
Let this be a lesson to us all: Living up to hype is harder than it seems.
Let us hope that the players who saw Louchie Lou's struggles in 2013 are included in "us all."