Dominique Easley came home visibly upset one day four years ago.
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As an eighth grader, he wasn’t permitted to play for the Staten Island Hurricanes Pop Warner football program because, at 160 pounds, he was too big – 30 pounds too heavy, according to league rules.
“I was heartbroken,” Easley recalled. “I always wanted to play football.”
Now he will be playing alongside the country’s elite. The Curtis defensive lineman signed a National Letter of Intent with Florida yesterday morning.
Easley, ranked by one scouting service as the third-best prospect in the nation and a five-star recruit, according to Scout.com, joins coach Urban Meyer’s two-time national champions and the consensus top recruiting class in the country. The Gators signed three of the top seven prospects, according to Rivals.com, and 11 of ESPNU’s top 50 high school seniors.
“There’s nothing better,” said Easley, who initially verbally committed to Penn State. “Great kids, great players, and we all want the same goal: win the national championship.”
The 6-foot-3, 274-pound dynamo led Curtis to a pair of city championships. Despite missing three games due to injury as a senior, he racked up 73 tackles, 16 sacks and was named The Post’s Player of the Year. He earned MVP honors in the Under Armour All-American Game with a sack and three tackles for losses.
“All those kids are going to big schools like Texas and he just ripped them apart,” said teammate James Timmins, who signed with Rhode Island. “He can go against anybody in the country and dominate them.”
Florida assistant Steve Addazio was similarly impressed. He has recruited the Northeast for 16 years – first at Syracuse, then Notre Dame and now Florida. He was responsible for bringing Dwight Freeney to the Orange.
“[Easley] has a phenomenal future,” Addazio said. “We think he can do a lot of things for us because of his quickness and athleticism.”
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