Dominique Easley always positive
Florida Gators defensive tackle Dominique Easley caught the attention of NFL scouts as a freshman, leaving them wanting to see more. Now as Easley prepares for the NFL Draft, the scouts are still waiting for one final performance.
Easley burst onto the national stage in 2010 as one of the nation’s top recruits and seven tackles for loss his freshman season. The following season, Easley tore his left ACL against Florida State.
After a monster game in the 2012 Sugar Bowl against Louisville, when Easley decided to return for his senior season, he was primed for a big year and touted as a possible first round draft pick. Then he tore his right ACL.
“The way my life is,” Easley said, “I was always have a challenge to conquer. It’s fun for me, to see what I can do from this ACL because I feel like I proved what I could do from my other ACL.”
The easygoing Easley has been rehabbing with Dr. James Andrews and wasn’t able to participate in drills at the NFL Combine or the Gators Pro Day but will have his own workout for scouts on campus on April 17 and keeps a positive outlook.
“You only got one life so just be happy,” Easley said, “Have fun with it.”
Easley is known for having fun with media members and providing memorable quotes for those that covered the Gators.
“Everything that comes out of my mouth is natural,” he said. “Anybody that knows me will tell you I’m just a different kind of person.”
Easley doesn’t like southern food despite going to school in the south, carried around a Chucky doll, has never seen a full NFL game and watches Saturday morning cartoons.
“I’m always getting into my film work, I’m always studying,” he said. “I don’t watch football for recreational purposes.”
But make no mistake, his passion and love for the sport is real despite football not being big where he grew up on Staten Island, N.Y.
“I had to go to a southern school to let them know there’s football on Staten Island,” Easley said.
Easley is a bit of a forgotten prospect after his injury but a healthy Easley could be in the same conversation as Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr. A team may take a chance on him in the first round, where he would have been drafted if healthy, or he could slip in the Draft.
“I’m just going to be ready,” Easley said. “I’m just waiting for me to get where I need to be so I can start my journey. Whenever I get where I’m going to get, they’re going to remember me.”
Patrick Woo is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.