His experimentation at wide receiver has gone well enough that Florida coach Will Muschamp plans to use him there this fall in addition to his duties as a starting cornerback and special teams standout.
“He needs to be in really, really good shape,” Muschamp said.
Purifoy, a junior, started 12 games at cornerback last year and played receiver occasionally. He had one catch for 5 yards in the Sugar Bowl.
On defense and special teams he had 51 tackles and five forced fumbles. No matter how much he develops as a receiver, Muschamp said he is too valuable in the other areas and there is no chance of him moving to offense full-time.
Purifoy was thrust into the offense during the season and took the field in a limited number of plays, making him somewhat predictable for opposing defense.
“Once you run those three plays in the first quarter, they’re kind of on to what’s going on,” Muschamp said. “We want to expand what he can do at receiver. I don’t think it’s diminishing his skill at all as a corner.
“He’s going to have a role on our offense in the fall. That’s why I wanted to do this right now.”
Florida would not be test driving him at receiver if it had enough talent at that position. Quinton Dunbar, a red-shirt junior this season, led the Gators’ receivers with 36 catches, 383 yards and four touchdowns.