Florida CB Loucheiz Purifoy starts spring practice at WR

Florida CB Loucheiz Purifoy will play more WR in the fall. (USATSI)
Florida CB Loucheiz Purifoy will play more WR in the fall. (USATSI)

Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy is a star in one of the deepest secondaries in the SEC. This spring, he is taking starter's reps on offense for the first time since high school.

Gators coach Will Muschamp informed the rising junior of plans to play both cornerback and wide receiver in the 2013 season. In order to help Purifoy learn the offense, offensive coordinator Brent Pease has named Purifoy the No. 1 wide receiver at the Z position to start spring practice.

"You can't always just put Loucheiz in and throw a screen or run a reverse with him every time he's in the game," Muschamp said via the Palm Beach Post. "We need to expand his package if we're going to continue to move forward with that.

"We just need to get him more turns and reps at the position and not get away from what he does best, which is cover."

After seven days of practice at wide receiver, Purifoy will return to the defensive backfield and begin developing his routine as a hybrid player. That role will not be unusual for Purifoy; a two-way player in high school. Purifoy played offense most of his early football career until his high school team needed an athletic presence during his senior year. 

Fast forward to 2013, and the Gators are in the same position: Muschamp needs his best playmaker on the field.

The move should help the Gators' passing attack, which ranked last in the SEC averaging just 146.3 yards per game. With Mike Gillislee's 1,152 yards and 10 touchdowns out of the picture, Florida needs more from the passing game in order to establish some balance for the next running backs in line: Matt Jones, Mack Brown and Kelvin Taylor.

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CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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