Despite injury, Florida's Easley to turn pro

Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley has played his last down for the Gators. The senior suffered a season-ending knee injury last week, but rather than apply for a medical redshirt and receive another year of college eligibility, Easley plans to enter the NFL draft in 2014.

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound star has had a history of injury problems. He tore the ACL and medial meniscus in his right knee during practice last Tuesday. He tore the ACL in his left knee in November 2011. Still, Florida coach Will Muschamp believes the NFL is “the best move for him right now.”

“He’ll have plenty of interest,” Muschamp said. “He’ll be a productive guy on the next level. He’s a really good football player. He’s extremely intelligent. He gets the game. His tape speaks for itself and how he plays the game and approaches the game. He’ll be fine. There will be a lot of organizations that want him in their organization.”

Easley nearly joined teammates Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd, Jelani Jenkins and Jordan Reed in leaving school early after last season, but he opted to return and finish out his career with the Gators. He was projected as a mid-round selection had he left.

During his career with the Gators, Easley finished with 72 tackles, including 18 for a loss and 5.5 sacks.