Purify ready for the future

When you have what Maurice Purify has, you can see yourself just about anywhere in the country. You look at the offense, the quarterback situation and how the team has done on the year. Heck, you can look at location, weather and even what kind of facilities they have. For Purify, when he did pull the trigger for the Huskers, it was about all that, but there was an even bigger and for him, better reason he will now be with the big red.

The end of the season didn't turn out quite the way San Francisco City College wide receiver Maurice Purify would have liked. In the national championship game, not even a furious comeback in the fourth, San Fran outscoring Grossmont in that quarter 21-3, could steal away the win. The final stat that was the most telling was the seven turnovers San Francisco committed during the game.

For Purify, though, it went fairly well, Purify securing the offensive player of the game award, grabbing seven passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns. The two scores came late in the game, Maurice hooking up with San Fran QB Andrew Strom for a 20-yard TD strike at 6:04 to go in the fourth, narrowing the deficit to 31-38.

Grossmont battled back, though, adding a field goal with just 1:46 to go, pushing the Grossmont lead back up as the now led 41-31.

With just seconds remaining on the clock, there wasn't any giving up in San Fran as once again they went to Purify, this time for a 12 yard strike from Strom and the lead was down to three.

That's how it would end and regardless of how you did as an individual, this was not the conclusion you wanted. How Maurice went out, though, hitting those two huge scores at the end of the game, that's what he said illustrates what he thinks about what he does best.

"You have to want the ball when it matters most," Maurice said. "You can't be scared out there, so when it's third and long, fourth and whatever, you want the ball, because you know when it matters, that's when you are at your best."

Finishing the year with 63 catches for 1208 yards and 17 touchdowns is a nice way of backing up being touted as one of the best. Having a 6 foot, 4 inch, 215 pound frame gives you just the sheer physical presence to back it up. What Purify said that mattered the most about his game this year, which will serve him the best in the future, it's that he went from being a deep threat, to being THE threat on the field.

"Nobody tried to play me in man-coverage all that much, because it didn't go very well for them if it did," Purify said. "So, it wasn't always easy taking the short stuff and getting downfield."

"I think I really improved that part of my game this year, though, because in just that Butte-game, I took a 10-yard hitch and I was gone 85 for the score."

It's not secret that someone of his ability is desired by just about any program in the country. His size, his 4.5 speed and his ability to make plays – all make him one of if not the top junior college wideout in the country.

So, one might find it odd that when he's looking at so many schools like USC, UCLA, Washington and Arizona, he would ultimately pick the home of the "Sea of Red".

Maurice said that when he pulled the trigger, it wasn't some epiphany he had, rather him just coming to terms with the fact that every time he looked Nebraska, it looked like it was the best place for him. "The situation they have there suits me," Purify said. "I like the atmosphere there, I got along with the coaches and I know they need a guy like me."

"But the big thing was, nobody was committed to recruiting me like them. Nobody went out of their way to show they really wanted me like them. They came after me, they visited my mom and they really did everything right."

"There's a lot of reasons I am going to Nebraska, but that's a big one, because I didn't need to ask how much they wanted me. They let me know as much as they could."

It would be hard to argue with Nebraska for wanting someone like Purify. Not that anyone wouldn't, but as the continuing transition to the West Coast offense continues, the moving and removing of talent at certain areas is on-going. At wide receiver, though, they have some good possession types, Nebraska still hasn't gotten that one big playmaker at the position.

The one that has the speed to go deep or can take a short pass down the field. Purify knows he's that kind of guy and with the Nebraska offense, he sees all kinds of opportunities to shine. "You still have to do the work, but their offense is perfect for me," Maurice said. "They spread you out on defense and you don't know where they are going to go. It might be me, it might be someone else, but you don't know. That means they can't really key on one guy."

Once Purify arrives, he'll be that one guy or more than likely on his way. You can imagine that's his goal, because, while he has a redshirt year available with the two years he has to compete, he's not looking at using it. He's got goals already, so it's on the field or bust, because come the middle of September, Maurice knows where he wants to be and knows exactly what he wants to be part of once he gets there.

"I can't wait to go to USC and I want them to have their streak," Maurice said of USC's current nation-leading winning-streak. "That way it's us that breaks it."

Some would call that idle-boasting, unnecessary bravado or just being too damn cocky. Purify disagrees in that he believes if you can't see yourself beating the best, you will never be the best. "You play to win, so you have to think you can beat anyone you play," he said. "If you want to be where they are now, you have to take it, because they aren't going to just hand it over."

"I want to win against them, but I want to win against everyone. That's what this is all about."

Husker fans will be drooling at the thought of seeing Purify take the field. Maurice could be doing a little of that himself. It will have to wait until May, though, according to Maurice, because that's when he's set to complete his courses at CCSF. After that, though, he'll be ready to roll.

"I can't wait to get there, "he said. "They have some more talent coming in, some already there, so they are building something good. I wanted to be part of that and everything I see them doing for the future."

"It's going to be good, because we are going to take the next step. Everyone will just have to wait and see."

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