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2 Days to Toledo:
Dominique Easley

Written by Nick de la Torre, August 29, 2013, 0 Comments,
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Over the next two days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.

Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in The Swamp on August 31.

Today we take a look at senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley.

History

Dominique Easley came to Florida all the way from Curtis High School in Staten Island, New York. He chose Florida over schools like Boston College, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee and UCLA.

Easley’s career started off rocky in Gainesville. Upset with his role on the team and feeling homesick, Easley reportedly skipped practice and contemplated transferring at one point. Easley decided to stick it out and moved into a starting role under Will Muschamp in his sophomore season. He started all 12 regular season games at defensive tackle before tearing his ACL against Florida State, missing the bowl game.

Easley returned as a junior in 2012 and started 11 games at defensive end  — missing two with injury. He led the team with four sacks and decided to return to Florida for his senior season. Easley credits his mother as the main reason he chose to return, saying that she wanted to see him graduate and earn a degree, something he will do this spring.

He’s worn a tractor chain onto the field, carries a Chucky Doll everywhere with him, admitted that he doesn’t watch football and didn’t know who Bear Bryant was when he was asked at SEC Media Days. He’s Florida’s most interesting player and he might be one of their best as well.

Player Evaluation

Strengths

Easley is unbelievably quick off the ball for a player of his size. His first step is unrivaled and allows him to get his hands on offensive linemen before they even get out of their stance. Easley is a terror against both the run and the pass equally. His size allows him to take on double teams and fill gaps.

Weaknesses

At times, Easley can let his emotions get the best of him. In a game where he sat out last season against Vanderbilt, he had to have coaches separate him from Commodore players. He almost fought the entire Florida State football team in 2012. Easley also is one of the most penalized defensive linemen. He’s so quick off the line but sometimes too quick and consequently, jumps over the line a little too early.

What to Expect

Easley is sliding back down inside to defensive tackle — his more natural position. Easley said that he returned to Florida because his mom wanted him to earn his degree but he would also benefit from playing a full season without injury. After tearing his ACL against FSU in 2011, Easley missed two games last season and was never 100% healthy.

He’s poised for a big senior season as he steps into his role as a team leader.

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

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Over the next two days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.

Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in The Swamp on August 31.

Today we take a look at senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley.

History

Dominique Easley came to Florida all the way from Curtis High School in Staten Island, New York. He chose Florida over schools like Boston College, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee and UCLA.

Easley’s career started off rocky in Gainesville. Upset with his role on the team and feeling homesick, Easley reportedly skipped practice and contemplated transferring at one point. Easley decided to stick it out and moved into a starting role under Will Muschamp in his sophomore season. He started all 12 regular season games at defensive tackle before tearing his ACL against Florida State, missing the bowl game.

Easley returned as a junior in 2012 and started 11 games at defensive end  — missing two with injury. He led the team with four sacks and decided to return to Florida for his senior season. Easley credits his mother as the main reason he chose to return, saying that she wanted to see him graduate and earn a degree, something he will do this spring.

He’s worn a tractor chain onto the field, carries a Chucky Doll everywhere with him, admitted that he doesn’t watch football and didn’t know who Bear Bryant was when he was asked at SEC Media Days. He’s Florida’s most interesting player and he might be one of their best as well.

Player Evaluation

Strengths

Easley is unbelievably quick off the ball for a player of his size. His first step is unrivaled and allows him to get his hands on offensive linemen before they even get out of their stance. Easley is a terror against both the run and the pass equally. His size allows him to take on double teams and fill gaps.

Weaknesses

At times, Easley can let his emotions get the best of him. In a game where he sat out last season against Vanderbilt, he had to have coaches separate him from Commodore players. He almost fought the entire Florida State football team in 2012. Easley also is one of the most penalized defensive linemen. He’s so quick off the line but sometimes too quick and consequently, jumps over the line a little too early.

What to Expect

Easley is sliding back down inside to defensive tackle — his more natural position. Easley said that he returned to Florida because his mom wanted him to earn his degree but he would also benefit from playing a full season without injury. After tearing his ACL against FSU in 2011, Easley missed two games last season and was never 100% healthy.

He’s poised for a big senior season as he steps into his role as a team leader.

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