Breakout candidates: Offense

Even with the disappointing 2012 season for the Florida offense, there is still talent on the roster that could experience a breakout season this fall. With the departures of running back Mike Gillislee and tight end Jordan Reed, the Gators need players to step up in fall camp. We'll take the true freshmen out of the conversation, and here are the most likely candidates for a breakout on offense.

6. CB/WR Loucheiz Purifoy: We'll sneak a sixth selection onto this list. Purifoy isn't a breakout candidate on the defensive side of the ball since he experienced that last year. He could make the same impact for the Florida offense this season. No one really knows exactly what role Purifoy will play for the offense, and that'll likely be the case until the first game of the season. There's a surprise factor that benefits the Florida coaches at this point in the year.

His explosiveness earned a few different plays to be designed exclusively for him last season. He was still raw and inexperienced at wide receiver, so the coaches put him at wide receiver only for the first seven practices during the spring. With more polish and an offense still searching for a difference maker with the ball in his hands, Purifoy should make an instant impact this year.

Purifoy will make a bigger impact on offense

5. QB Jeff Driskel: It seems strange to put the starting quarterback on an 11-win team on a breakout list, but there's still plenty of improvement possible for Driskel to make during his junior season. There's no questioning the legs. He gives the Gators athleticism in the pocket and the ability to keep plays alive when the pass protection breaks down.

The next step has to come through the air. Driskel completed 63.7 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,646 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions during his second season of playing time. While running offensive coordinator Brent Pease's offense for the second year, Driskel should be more comfortable in the passing game. If the offensive line and wide receivers improve their play, Driskel could be a breakout player.

Driskel has plenty of room to grow

4. WR Latroy Pittman: After enrolling early before the spring of 2012, Pittman quickly became the talk of the practices. Players and coaches continued to rave about his ability to get open and make plays after the catch. Pittman even showcased that ability with a long reception in the spring game during his freshman year. Once the fall rolled around, he disappeared. Pittman made just two catches for six yards in 2012.

He showed what he could do last spring and drew some positive reviews out of spring practice this year. The obvious point is that the Gators need a wide receiver to step up, and it isn't a compliment to the returners that most of the talk centers around Purifoy and the incoming freshmen receivers. Pittman has the talent to be one of the breakout returners.

Pittman has a chance to make an impact in 2013

3. OG Max Garcia: After transferring from Maryland and being forced to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules, Garcia didn't waste time drawing positive reviews. He still practiced with the scout team and worked hard while trying to learn the Florida offense to help him get on the field in 2013. The talk about Garcia's blocking and intensity on the interior of the offensive line has been very positive.

He seems like the perfect candidate to slide in at left guard and replace the graduation of James Wilson. The 6-4, 307-pound offensive lineman played tackle at Maryland but has found a natural fit at guard. He served as a cheerleader on the sidelines last season, but Garcia will have the opportunity to take that energy onto the field this fall.

Garcia impressed on scout team last year

2. LT D.J. Humphries: Expected to start at left tackle during his sophomore year this fall, Humphries comes with plenty of hype. The former five-star offensive tackle came to Gainesville needing to add weight and gained enough to play immediately as a freshman. He mostly served as the sixth offensive lineman, playing as an attached tight end in Florida's power run sets.

Humphries was listed at 280 pounds before heading into the offseason workout program. Florida head coach Will Muschamp said throughout the offseason that he's reminding Humphries to eat every time he sees him. Humphries is technically sound enough to play left tackle at Florida as a sophomore, but he needs to continue gaining weight to hold up against some of the powerful pass rushers in the Southeastern Conference.

Humphries needs to continue adding weight

1.RB Matt Jones: The end of the season brought plenty of optimism around Matt Jones. He was tentative, even by his own omission, when he got to campus last fall. He didn't want to miss the hole on the offensive line, so he ran carefully while overthinking it. It slowed down the way he played and he was third on the depth chart at running back.

That changed around the midway point of the season. Jones had a meeting with Muschamp and running backs coach Brian White. The two coaches provided a message that was direct -- stop thinking and run hard. Jones listened and quickly took over the backup running back job. He highlighted his freshman year by running out the clock, including a 32-yard touchdown run, in the road win over Florida State.

With Mike Gillislee gone, Jones steps into the starting running back role. His 6-2, 226-pound frame makes him large for a typical running back, but as long as he keeps his pad level down like he did at the end of 2012, Jones could become a nationally known name in 2013.

Jones will take over as the feature running back

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