Dominique Easley played defensive tackle at the University of Florida. Easley, who’s originally from Staten Island, NY, made himself eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft in November. He teamed up with FOX Sports to do a draft diary. He’ll be taking you through the process of the rehab — from his (knee) surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews to training and preparation for workouts for the draft. You can follow him (@MR_ChUcKiE_2) from now all the way up until draft day. (PART I, PART II)
I am currently in Boca Raton, Florida and I feel really good.
I got a nice apartment right in the heart of Boca. I made sure that I made my apartment home by putting up my senior jersey from Florida, art work and canvas photographs of New York. Of course, I also hung up pictures of my son and my dog.
Also, I also have one of my boys staying with me from back home, James Pon Pon. Having him around is always a good time. He is a nice relief from the tediousness and stress of the draft process and training.
However, all my focus is on training with Tony Villani.
Training two times a day is exhausting, but there is nothing else I would rather be doing. For the first time I can put all my energy and focus on my health and football. I have no excuses to not produce results.
My only distraction was the holidays. I got all my family gifts and wanted to visit my hometown of Staten Island before I got too committed to my training. I only stayed for 23 hours but I saw my high school football coach Peter Gambardella and his family which is always a nice reminder of where I came from. And I was fortunate enough to see both my mother, father, step mother and sister in New York. But the most important part of my trip back home is the food! After hitting all of my favorite spots I make sure to come back to Florida with a carry-on full of bagels and chicken rolls.
Though no food can compare to back home, the food spots in Boca have been taking very good care of me. My favorite spot is Calvittos, which is gourmet ready to eat and I have yet to get tired of their chicken cutlet and brown rice medley. I still get my smoothies except I make them at home.
I must admit, I do enjoy Boca Raton. Being close to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach is cool. I enjoy the weather, food and shopping.
It’s nice to jump in my Charger and drive down 95 with the windows down. I’ve been having more fun when my boys came down for New Year’s.
I spent New Year’s with Sharrif Floyd and I got to hang out with Matt Elam when he came down to visit family. When we get together it is always a good time. We we’re reminiscing about our time in Gainesville and then talking about prepping for the combine, pre draft work and playing in the NFL.
I’m trying to get any edge and advantage I can.
During rehab you have a lot of down time, so one major goal I set to accomplish was to learn as much about the game of football as I possibly can. I put in extra time watching film, talking to different veteran players and coaches, and educating myself as much as possible on football, training and taking care of my body. For me I always want to the be the best I can be, but I know the average NFL career is only 3.5 years. I am going to do everything I can to play as long as possible. I love this game. And as much as I love this game, I love winning. Whichever team drafts me I want to show them I have and will work 24/7 to help the team any way I can and bring a Super Bowl to that town. I just can’t wait until I am out there next year. But for now I have to work for it. I’m feeling great and will be healthy and playing in no time.
The shopping in South Florida brings out the ‘sneaker head’ in me. It has never been easier for me to get all the Jordan’s and sneakers that I want. Of course I try to get matching pairs for my little man if they have them.
The only down side of this experience is my family is not with me anymore. I have to FaceTime to see my son now.
Though it is hard not coming home to him, he still motivates me to work harder every day.