Easley predictably steals show at SEC Media Days

By Adam Silverstein
July 16, 2013

Florida Gators at 2013 SEC Media Days: Main Post – News & Notes: Muschamp’s shot at Meyer, injuries, players, coaches | Game times vs. Toledo, Miami set | Muschamp: I’m “100% responsible” for players | VIDEOS: Florida players have fun interviewing each other

Florida Gators fans have seen plenty of senior defensive lineman Dominique Easley’s faces – the jovial one he displays while dancing between snaps or on the sideline, the serious one he makes while holding his prized Chucky doll, the patriotic one he flashed while holding an American flag before running onto the field on Sept. 10, 2011, and the menacing one he sported while wearing a chain around his neck in that same tunnel on Oct. 1, 2011 – and that is why, despite promising he would not say anything “outrageous” at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Media Days on Tuesday, he simply could not help himself.

Easley was the talk of the event and predictably the most quotable player. Even though he was likely asked by school staffers to tone down some of his comments, his unique personality could not help but shine through.

Asked about legendary Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, Easley admitted he did not recognize the name and legitimately wondered if the reference was to a cartoon. He later apologized via the school’s Twitter account. “I’m sorry, Alabama fans. I’m from New York and didn’t watch football growing up,” he said.

When told that his quarterback, junior Jeff Driskel, went hog hunting in the offseason, Easley explained that he has no desire to mess around with any animals in that manner.


“Yeah, somebody told me that. I don’t deal with that type of stuff. I’m a city dude,” he said, according to AL.com. “First time I saw a cow was coming to Gainesville. I ain’t touching no animals.”

He continued: “I don’t like bugs. Flying bugs I don’t do. Mosquitoes, raccoons, all that stuff – keep that to the South.”

A reporter then tried to feed Easley a witty question about “elephant hunting,” in other words, whether Gators or any other team for that matter could upend the Crimson Tide and put a stop to their dominance.

“Oh, I thought you meant real elephant hunting. I was about to say…” he quipped after the question was explained. “Uh…anybody who works harder than them, really.”

Easley also told reporters that he has not stopped thinking about losing to Georgia, prefers watching cartoons to sports (“I love Jimmy Neutron.”) and is pleased with his weight, which is listed at 283 pounds on Florida’s roster.

“I’m trying to get a beach body,” he said, according to The Gainesville Sun. “I think it’s coming in pretty good.”

He also taught a reporter his celebration dance.

Though there was plenty of fun to be had with Easley, he got quite serious when talking about football and returning for his senior season.

As he noted previously, Easley said his mother played a large role in his decision to come back and finish out his career with the Gators. She wants to see him graduate, and he plans to do whatever is necessary to improve his stock and earn as much money as possible for his family.”

“It was a hard decision but it was really based on my mother,” he said, according to The Sun‘s Pat Dooley. “She asked me to come back and finish school. She wants to see me walk across the stage. That’s what she keeps bugging me about. You gotta make your mother happy.”

Muschamp was also impressed with Easley’s decision, praising his maturity and dedication to choosing the path that was in the best interest of himself and his family.

“Dominique and I had some talks [with] Dan Quinn, [who] was still a part of our staff who has extensive experience in the National Football League.,” he said. “We felt like the input we got from the people in the National Football League, it would be in his best interest to come back.

“Dominique’s mother wants him to come back and finish school, which he will. Again, I think he made a very mature, smart decision in coming back to school. He looked at the positives and the negatives of his situation and what would benefit him and his family. It was coming back to school. Again, very mature decision.”

After starting his career as a defensive tackle, Easley moved outside and played more defensive end in 2012. He started 11 games, registering four sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss last season but believes he can improve on those totals in 2013.

Muschamp plans to shift Easley back inside this year, a move that should allow him to use his athleticism to take advantage of mismatches on the interior and hopefully become the consistent and dominant player he was expected to be as a five-star prospect out of high school in 2010.

No matter how things turn out over the next few months, Easley’s only concern right now is getting back on the field with his teammates.

“You ever not eat for a couple hours and your stomach starts hurting?” he asked rhetorically, according to the Palm Beach Post. “That’s how we feel.”

4 Comments

  1. Michael Jones says:

    Man, I’m getting that goosebumpy feeling. Can’t read enough about our Gators!!! It’s coming. . . football season is coming!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GOOOOOOO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Gator Boys says:

    Am I a conspiracy theorist or was Muschamp’s praising his maturity a message to past and future players who leave early?

    • Muschamp is happy to have players leave early when they’re going to go in the first two rounds or first three depending on situation and probability of improving stock. He gets displeased when they make bad decisions or when he feels they have a lot to gain by staying another year. For Easley, a degree and the ability to showcase himself as a star DL were too much to pass up.

  3. Jesse C says:

    J. Jenkins left too early in my opinion.

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