Gators cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy to enter NFL Draft

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Gators cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy will enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

Purifoy, a member of Florida head coach Will Muschamp’s first signing class in 2011, played in 37 games in the last three seasons.

“I have had a great three years at the University of Florida, but at this time I think it’s best for me and my family to pursue a career in the NFL,” Purifoy said. “Coach Muschamp and Coach [Travaris] Robinson have put me in a position to take the next step. I know there is still a lot of work for me ahead, but I appreciate what everyone at Florida did to get me to this point.

“As much as I look forward to playing in the NFL, I will miss my teammates and coaches and look forward to watching them play next year.”

The 6-foot, 185-pound Purifoy is projected as a first-round pick by several NFL draft analysts.

Purifoy picked off Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in the first half of FSU’s 37-7 win Saturday in his final game. Purifoy finished the season with 24 tackles, two interceptions, seven pass breakups and a sack.

“There are a lot of factors that go into making these individual and personal decisions and I’m 100 percent supportive of Loucheiz’s choice to enter into the NFL Draft,” Muschamp said. “Loucheiz has come a long way from when I sat in his living room with his family during the recruiting process and he also knows his work is not done.

“We wish him nothing but the best of luck and watching him on Sundays. As we have with other former Gators, we encourage him to return to Florida and finish his degree.”

Purifoy’s best game this season came in Florida’s 30-10 win over Arkansas when Purifoy forced a fumble on a sack and later returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown.