Florida junior CBs Marcus Roberson, Loucheiz Purifoy lead list of undrafted Gators

By Adam Silverstein
May 10, 2014

Anywhere from six to eight Florida Gators were expected to be selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, but the event came Thursday and ended Saturday with only four being picked up by professional teams out of 256 slots.

Defensive tackle Dominique Easley (first round, No. 29, New England), cornerback Jaylen Watkins (fourth round, No. 101, Philadelphia), linebacker Ronald Powell (fifth round, No. 169, New Orleans) and guard Jon Halapio (sixth around, No. 179, New England) were all picked, but other Gators were not as lucky.

Junior CBs Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy, early entrants who were both projected as first-round picks by numerous draft analysts before the 2013 season, went undrafted during the three-day event.

Roberson’s injuries were likely the greatest deterrent to teams selecting him, though low testing numbers at the NFL Combine, a lackluster Pro Day and some off-field concerns also affected his draftability.

Purifoy did not progress as scouts hoped in terms of his coverage ability and overall play at cornerback during his junior campaign. Poor testing numbers and numerous off-field issues, including a run-in with the law for possession of marijuana and bath salts just two months before the draft, likely forced teams to bail on picking him up.

The duo become the first Florida early entrants to go undrafted since another defensive back, Will Hill, declared after his junior season and did not get picked in 2011. Hill did not play in 2011 but signed with the New York Giants in 2012 and spent the last two years with the team, starting a number of contests at safety.

Other Gators that were not selected Thursday-Saturday include wide receiver Solomon Patton, center Jonotthan Harrison, tight end Trey Burton, DT Damien Jacobs, LB Darrin Kitchens and offensive lineman Kyle Koehne.

According to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, Patton has already agreed to an undrafted free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to Comcast Sports Net out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Burton has agreed to a deal with the Eagles.

Most of Florida’s undrafted players will sign free agent deals in the coming days. OnlyGators.com will provide an update once those signings are all made.


  1. Gatoralum88 says:

    Neither getting drafted is MORE proof Todd McShay is an IDIOT! ALL fall McShay’s “Top CB’s” would scroll on ESPN’s bottom line during games with “1) Purifoy 2) Roberson”. So much for that!!! Sure, neither did well at the combine & Purifoy’s drug arrest & overall poor character blew up his early entry chances but obviously McShay’s bogus projections gave both false hopes. If there’s a silver lining it’s that it gives Muschamp (or whoever’s coaching the Gators if he gets the boot) some ammunition should other guys think about leaving early just because McShay projects them as “likely to go in the 1st or 2nd round”. Geez, wasn’t his man crush on the ultimate bust (Jamarcus Russell) enough proof to NOT heed what he thinks? What a shame.

    • Dave Massey says:

      I agree with you that McShay is an idiot. Whenever he opens his mouth, I either hit the mute button or change the channel. As far as Roberson and Purifoy are concerned I couldn’t care less. These two were me first guys and they got what they earned, nothing. The article mentions Will Hill but failed to mention that Will Hill is now done in the NFL, the Giants are through with him. Why? Because he just failed his third drug test and will be suspended anyways. Keep on puffing on that pipe guys and see how it can ruin your career. Only the best of the best make it in the show and you will never be there with what weed and other drugs do to you.

  2. Michael Jones says:

    I’m very unsympathetic about Roberson and Purifoy. Same with Powell (who also left too soon). They were all delusional for leaving when they did. Hopefully now some kids will get some sense in their heads.

    The bummer for me is Trey Burton. Muschamp and his pathetic offenses really wasted this kid’s considerable talent. How do you go from his freshman production to becoming an afterthought in the offense (I mean, other than the laughable “wildcat” joke that we ran)? What a shame.

    • Dave Massey says:

      I agree with you on Trey Burton, guy played his heart out and deserves a shot and I think he will make it if he gets one. The Wildcat failed with Burton because everyone knew he wasn’t going to be allowed to throw the ball and 75% of the time he was going to keep it. The only way the Wildcat will work is the element of surprise. Muschump’s conservatism ruined any chance it had to be successful.

      • Michael Jones says:

        Agree 100%. A high school QB who threw decently and effectively for the Gators as a freshman wasn’t allowed to throw out of Muschamp’s wildcat. That, by definition, makes it no longer a wildcat. Go figure.

  3. Gatorgrad79 says:

    What is really sad is they now have NO degree and no job. Even if they sign as free agents, they will most likely have a very short career and be looking for a way to earn a living in the next 3 – 5 years. Very sad…

  4. Donnie Wise says:

    Yet another great example I can use with my kids as to why smoking weed is just as destructive as any other drug. So much talent wasted. On the other hand I really hope DK makes the team! He’s a great person and one of the most loyal Gators to ever wear the O&B! All in all all the worthy Gators were drafted or signed as udfa! Let’s hope all these guys make it in the NFL and rep the Gator Nation!!

    • Mike says:

      Tyrann Mathieu was the best defensive player in the SEC and was in contention for a Heisman trophy while smoking marijuana regularly. The only reason his draft stock dropped was because he smoked weed, not because smoking marijuana made him a lesser player. Note the difference. Also, if I recall, Ricky Williams was smoking weed every single day to deal with crippling anxiety and he happened to be the best running back in pro football at the time.

      Despite your best attempts to brainwash your children with antiquated government propaganda, it turns out that marijuana actually isn’t that bad. Multiple presidents have smoked it, nearly every single legendary artist and musician has smoked it, you’d be surprised just how many executives, doctors, and lawyers smoke it, and a significant number of professional athletes smoke it. But no, you’re right, marijuana ruins lives.

      • gatorboi352 says:

        Well said Mike. Donnie Wise’s kids will be in my prayers for sure with parenting like that taking place.

        • Michael Jones says:

          So you are going to pray for kids whose parents don’t advocate them smoking pot? Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.

      • Bo says:

        The fact that Ricky Williams and Tyrann Mathieu smoked marijuana is not proof its “not that bad.” In fact, recent studies have shown that it is harmful when smoked by young people, so I applaud him for steering his kids clear from harm’s way. And it is a known fact that it effects one’s “motivation.” Just because a successful person smokes it, doesn’t mean others will be successful…it only begs the question, “how much more successful could they have been?”

      • Michael Jones says:

        Here’s the problem, Mike: you don’t own any NFL teams, and the guys who do don’t want their players smoking pot. I would also argue that just because a player is so talented that he is able to overcome his alcohol/marijuana/cocaine/meth/heroine/whatever use doesn’t equate with it being harmless.

        I’m going to go ahead and state the obvious: They’re high-level athletes, and what they put into their bodies matters. It affects their performance.

        • 212 says:

          But they’re allowed to drink alcohol? Kind of a double standard. I mean sure, weed is an illegal drug but numerous scientific studies have proven it to be less harmful, specifically to the brain and body, to someone compared to alcohol. In fact, the reason why it is illegal is because of the potential uses of hemp; and the dangers it posed to those robber barons in the steel and related industries about 100 years ago. Of course everything in moderation, but seriously just Google the myths surrounding marijuana. You might change your whole opinion. Unfortunately because I work in healthcare I can’t smoke.

          • Michael Jones says:

            What’s legal and what’s beneficial are two different things. I doubt that drinking much booze is good for an athlete either. Being against pot as a training staple doesn’t make you for booze as a training staple.

            I imagine the purer an athlete’s body is, the better his performance. Vegetables, protein = good. Pot/booze/coke/pain pills/etc. = bad. It doesn’t really have to get any more philosophical or moral than that.

            I know how passionate stoners are for their cause, and I’m not taking that cause on. Just saying that what you put in your body affects your performance. Plain and simple.

  5. GTO Gaddy says:

    And that’s the truth GatorGrad79! Better play for your life in training camp. No degree? At least you could have gotten that. Sucks for them.

  6. g8ter27 says:

    Doubt either was close to getting a degree anytime soon. Their choice to leave early speaks volumes.

  7. Michael Jones says:

    Texas failed to have a single player drafted for the first time since 1937. Guess who was the defensive coordinator and head of recruiting at Texas 4 years ago?

    What head coach handles the GSU loss the way this guy did? He blamed the offense for that loss when he’s defense couldn’t stop an inferior program.

    What head coach tells 5 very talented running backs: “We only have 1 football. You figure it out?” as opposed to something like: “We’re blessed to have you. Everybody will get a chance to help us win on Saturdays. Run hard on every play and, with all of you contributing, we’ll have fresh legs for 4 quarters of football.”

    He’s a hotheaded egomaniac who doesn’t have the mental horse power or anything else that it takes to be an SEC head coach. He threw Brent Pease under the bus when he was micromanaging the offensive philosophy and playcalling the whole time.

    Foley’s ego will keep this guy around for too long and this program will suffer bitterly for it.

    • Dave Massey says:

      Got to agree with you on your comments. Muschump’s temper affects his ability to manage and make good decisions. I don’t believe he has control of the player’s and Florida has too many me first egomaniacs on the roster to succeed as a team, this is a legacy that Meyer started and has continued to this day. A lot of things are broken with this football program and don’t think WM is the one to fix it. With another bad year he should be done. The offense isn’t the reason UF lost to GSU, they were basically playing with a guy they expected to be 5th on the depth chart at QB, no offensive line, and no receivers. This goes back to recruiting. The defense clearly quit on the team, no other way to slice that one. Lose to an inferior opponent who has 0 passing yards.

    • Gatoralum88 says:

      Yep, he’s the common denominator. The facts that A) football is a brutal sport B) players don’t really care about getting a degree & C) they don’t particularly like playing for Muschump because of his short fuse & penchant for embarrassing players in front of teammates during film sessions (heard it through the grapevine he’ll call ’em “stupid”) that will only lead to more mass defections by good/even half-decent junior starters until he’s gone.

      I have NO doubt Bullard, Fowler, Humphries, & Morrison (all decent/good juniors) will jump ship after this season REGARDLESS of how well they play. To me, the most telling observation is how veteran players who’ve graduated are leaving the program like never before (Patchan, Riggs, Silberman, Murphy). Of course, Murphy’s case is slightly different because he knew he wouldn’t have beaten out Driskell. For the others, they’d have been starters so if you’re going to stay in school why leave? Is Boston College’s graduate degree program better than UF’s??? Patchan (also undrafted) certainly didn’t help his case by bolting for greener pastures. The head coach us the only reason I can come up with.

  8. Matt says:

    Let’s not overreact. These kids were obviously fed some bad information. Watkins was drafted after running a 4.41. Both these guys went undrafted after running 4.6s. This is a prime example of how important your 40 time is and how much you have to work to get better. These guys can still come back to Florida and finish their degrees. It’s just a shame the NCAA doesn’t allow them to comeback and playing the remainder of their eligibility.

    • Dave Massey says:

      Their egos fed them that bad information. Me first players. I normally look forward to following the careers of former Gators in the pros. These guys only cared about themselves from the get go and I don’t care and won’t follow them. This team has a complete lack of discipline, WM needs to do it like BD does and not put up with all the nonsense.

  9. Gatoralum88 says:

    I still haven’t seen any news of either signing anywhere as free agents so I can only imagine conversations between their agents & teams is going something like this:

    Agent (for either): “But ESPN once projected him as a 1st round pick!”
    NFL exec: “Uh…Yeah…Well, they’re idiots. Our offer is our standard free agent deal. A $20,000 signing bonus & he’ll earn the league minimum if he makes the team. Take it or leave it!”

    It’s laughable at best.

  10. Geoff says:

    They will both get signed as free agents … Maybe/hopefully going unDrafted humbles them and gets them on track. But both should have stayed one more year. Silver lining … We got Tabor because they left. He seems to be more of a good character guy w just as much if not more talent.

  11. W says:

    It’s really amazing how people behind computer screens can rip kids apart for making decisions that they legitimately believe would work out. They were fed bad information, and it’s a real tragedy that the consequence is being left with no degree and no easy path to making an NFL roster. But some of the comments on this threat are disgusting. How quickly people forget what Roberson and Purifoy were to the Gators two years ago, when the team went 11-2. You all hate Muschamp, and that’s fine, that’s partially justified. But we’re all people who have never come close to being in these young men’s shoes, so let’s not pretend that the decision to stay or go would have been so clear-cut for anyone.

    Who knows what the families wanted, or how close someone’s parent was to having a car or house repossessed, or not being able to support other children? To sit here on a keyboard and vilify kids for pursuing a pro career after respectable college careers is not just pointless, it’s cowardly. These guys wore the uniform, they put in the work, and on balance, they moved this program forward. To do anything less than thank them is a sign of someone who simply has skewed priorities and cannot put anything in context.

    I’m upset about last year too, but life moves on. To hold grudges against innocent parties makes no sense, and it is certainly not representative of how a real fan should act. So if you’re one of “those guys” (and you know who you are), I’d take a long look in the mirror and wonder how fulfilling it is for you to blast kids pursuing their dreams on an internet blog.

    • senuod says:

      That’s the truth if I ever heard it. I agree that they jumped ship too early and were over hyped, but they definitely contributed to our success a couple seasons ago. They’ll have a chance to come back and get their degrees, if they see fit.

      UF will be ok in the end guys.

    • 212 says:

      Excellent point. I’m excited to see what will happen next year as I do believe were are headed in the right direction. Hopefully those that consistently bash the football team will be eating crow when fall comes.

  12. Fuller says:

    They both had a bad year, aside from any financial hardships at home, definitely should have come back to improve their draft status and help the team win games. From a selfish point of view UF has gotten killed by kids leaving early that were marginal, don’t know who was feeding these guys bad info but really sucks all around.

  13. Spike says:

    W- great post.

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