|Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press|
|DT Dominique Easley had been a bright spot on a formidable Florida defense this season.|
Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley, a lynchpin for one of the top defenses in the nation and a rising 2014 NFL Draft prospect, will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, according to Florida's official web site.
UF coach Will Muschamp indicated on the Wednesday Southeastern Conference media teleconference that he believed Easley would be fine, but also said more information on the injury needed to be gathered.
Muschamp later released the following statement:
"Test results have revealed that he suffered a tear of both his ACL and medial meniscus, which will require season-ending surgery," Muschamp said. "I talked to Dominique and the team this afternoon and we will continue to look for his leadership and experience throughout the season. Watching any of your players go through this is one of the hardest things about being a coach. Obviously, it is hardest on Dominique. We are disappointed for him, but we will be there for him every step of the way through his surgery and rehab process."
Easley has now torn the ACL in both knees in his college career. He tore his left ACL near the end of his sophomore season, and while the senior's draft stock is high, NFL clubs will no doubt pay close attention to his rehabilitation and medical reports prior to next spring's draft. Easley made only five tackles on the season for the Gators, but had been a very disruptive presence in offensive backfields, creating big-play opportunities for others.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.