INDIANAPOLIS — Last Saturday was difficult for Loucheiz Purifoy.
As his mother — Estella Floyd — celebrated her birthday, the one gift he most wanted to present to her kept slipping through his grasp. Projected as a first-round draft pick before the start of his junior season at Florida, the cornerback watched the last four rounds of the NFL draft conclude without his name being called.
Problems on and off the field led to his slide, and Purifoy is aware his name has been sullied. Making that up to his mother — as well as his young son — is what drives him now.
Purifoy signed as a college free agent with the Indianapolis Colts, and he said he's dedicating all of his efforts toward his mother and son as the team began a three-day rookie mini-camp Friday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
"That's my pride and joy," he said of Floyd, whose name is tattoed on his arm. "Everything I do, I do it for her and my son. Gotta make them proud, gotta make them happy. That's what I've got to take care of."
THOMAS PROJECTS QUICK RECOVERY
Hip and biceps injuries suffered in the first half last season against the Miami Dolphins ended Donald Thomas' first year as a Colt after less than two games.
But the offensive guard said Friday he believes he will be ready to take the field in time for the start of training camp in July. Thomas, obviously, is not taking part in this weekend's rookie mini-camp. But he likes what he's seen of the youngsters so far.
Second-round pick Jack Mewhort and second-year center Khaled Holmes could join the line this season as starters.
"We've got some good, young guys, and I think that's the key is having continuity," Thomas said. "When you have guys that can be together for a few years, I think that's the most important thing."