Florida DB Loucheiz Purifoy Will Take Snaps at WR in 2013July 16, 2013
One of the biggest questions facing the 2013 Florida Gators is the passing game.
The Gators finished last season ranked 12th in the SEC in passing offense with 334 yards per game. That won't cut it in 2013, and Florida has a plan to fix it.
Starting defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy, one of the top NFL prospects in the country and member of the watch list for the Bednarik Award, will work at wide receiver during fall camp in an effort to kick-start the Gators' stagnant passing attack.
Just how much time?
That remains to be seen, according to Florida head coach Will Muschamp.
"He will be on defense for the first 12-14 practices," Muschamp said. "We need to find out what the new guys can do. Loucheiz is going to have a role on offense. How much is going to depend on how some of the new wide receivers progress, and how some of the younger guys at cornerback progress to build depth."
The 6'1", 189-pound junior only has one career catch for five yards, but he did work at wide receiver at times this spring. Quarterback Jeff Driskel welcomes the experiment with open arms.
"He's a freak athlete," Driskel said. "He's an exciting weapon to have. I'd love to have him on my side of the ball."
It'd be a gamble for Florida to leave Purifoy on the offensive side of the ball long term. Alongside fellow cornerback Marcus Roberson, the Gators boast one of the best secondaries in the nation.
With Vernon Hargreaves III coming in behind the two mainstays, there is depth to withstand Purifoy's partial absence. But with Florida's offensive woes, the Gators would be risking a lot if one of their top defenders is splitting time on offense.
The fact that Purifoy will get some time on offense during fall camp will be a good barometer of how far the Gators have progressed offensively. If he stays with the defense as August winds down, offensive coordinator Brent Pease is probably content with his wide receivers.
If his status remains up in the air, it's a bad sign for the 2013 Gators.
Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.