Notebook: Purifoy to offense
Published: Monday, August 12, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 12, 2013 at 4:41 p.m.
Starting cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, who has practiced exclusively on defense during the first 12 practices of camp, will start getting some reps at wide receiver later in the week, Florida coach Will Muschamp said Monday.
“We're going to start working him the latter part of this week,” Muschamp said. “We're going to get him over on that side. We met Saturday night after the scrimmage, as a staff, we kind of talked about our roster. My question to our staff is who can you count on? Who can we win with? Who do you have confidence in?
“It's not always necessarily Aug. 31. It's throughout the entire season and understanding that maybe some of the younger guys don't know what to do right now, but athletically they are guys we need to be coaching and developing for the season. He will start repping over there this week. I am pleased with the progress we have made at the position.”
Purifoy spent half of the spring at wide receiver in an attempt by the coaches to give the offense a more dynamic presence in the downfield passing game.Muschamp elected to keep Purifoy on defense so he would not take away reps from the five true freshman wide receivers. Muschamp singled out two of those true freshmen Monday. “Ahmad Fulwood and Demarcus Robinson are two guys that are going to help our football team and improve our football team,” Muschamp said. “I've been very pleased with Quinton Dunbar and Trey Burton. Those four guys and Solomon Patton. “Those five right there have been productive and consistent in what they do and how they perform. Along with that you have Loucheiz and some of the other guys continuing to come on, and I think we'll have a good group.” Showers moves to offense Purifoy isn't the only defensive player who will be playing some offense this week. Safety Valdez Showers is going to move over so the coaches can see if he can fill the Omarius Hines role (combination running back and wide receiver). Showers was a standout running back in high school. “He's a guy that we feel like vertically can do some really good things for us,” Muschamp said. “We experimented with it in the scrimmage (Saturday) and I thought he did some nice things carrying the ball. “He was a natural carrier when he was in Detroit, a guy coming out of high school. But vertically he can do some good things in the run game and we're going to look at that over the next three, four days and sort of see where that takes us.” Injury update Offensive guards Max Garcia (back) and Trip Thurman (shoulder) were cleared to practice Monday, but starting guard Jon Halapio (partially torn pectoral muscle) is going to be out for at least another week. “Jon Halapio probably has got another seven to 10 days before he's back in contact,” Muschamp said. “He's doing a lot of the individual stuff and all that, but as far as the contact, we want to limit that. That's something you can re-injure easily, and we want to limit that.” Starting fullback Hunter Joyer could be out for a similar length of time after pulling his hamstring over the weekend. “It was a pretty (serious) pull. I would conservatively say 10 days,” Muschamp said. True freshman offensive tackle Rod Johnson, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week, is expected to miss the next three to four weeks. Defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (patella) and cornerback Jaylen Watkins (sprained foot) should be back next week, Muschamp said. Ball strong inside Muschamp said one of the defensive standouts in camp has been junior Neiron Ball, who has made a successful move from outside to inside linebacker. “Neiron Ball is playing really well inside. He's very athletic,” Muschamp said. “(In Saturday's scrimmage), our offense tried to hit a reverse and he saw it and ran it down. He showed his speed on Solomon Patton, a guy that can really run.” “Neiron Ball is a guy who's been a really nice find for us. He's been a guy who has played on the edge since I've been here and has moved inside. I'm pleased with his progress.” Driskel goes into pads Starting quarterback Jeff Driskel practiced in full pads for the first time Monday. It was his fifth practice since returning from appendectomy surgery. “I think he's throwing the ball really well,” Muschamp said. “The command, the mental quickness is there, taking the ball to the right spots. I've been very pleased.” Safeties coming on Muschamp seems to be feeling better about the safety positions, where some young players are starting to emerge, including redshirt freshman Marcus Maye “He's having a good camp. He's really come on and done some nice things for us,” Muschamp said. “I've been very pleased with his progress. We're playing him at safety and when we go to six DBs at the dime. But he's a guy that's been very productive and playing athletically with communication and doing a nice job. “Jabari Gorman had a great scrimmage Saturday. When the ball broke in the second level he got the ball on the ground every time, and that's our job. (True freshman) Keanu Neal is a guy that's a young guy coming along and playing well. He's doing a nice job for us.”