Dominique Easley out for 2013 season with torn ACL, meniscus in right knee

USA TODAY Sports

Dominique Easley's knee injury wasn't as bad as feared. It was worse.

Florida Gators defensive tackle Dominique Easley tore the ACL and medial meniscus in his right knee and will be out for the remainder of the 2013 season, Florida announced Wednesday evening.

Head coach Will Muschamp addressed Easley's injury in a GatorZone article:

"As I said earlier today on the SEC Conference Call, Dominique injured his right knee in practice in a non-contact situation," Muschamp said following Wednesday’s practice. "Test results have revealed that he suffered a tear of both his ACL and medial meniscus, which will require season-ending surgery.

"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 was, by virtually any measure other than sheer numbers, Florida's finest defensive player through three games of the 2013 season, consistently disrupting offenses with his incredible burst off the line and tenacity at the point of attack.

Without Easley, Florida is likely to elevate Darious Cummings to starter at Easley's defensive tackle position, and may also make significant changes to its defense if it finds it cannot rely on Cummings to replicate Easley's performance in that role — a likely outcome, given Easley's gifts.

Easley, a senior, could apply for a medical redshirt and return for a redshirt senior season, but is much more likely to enter the 2014 NFL Draft, as his performance in 2013 had made him one of the most highly-touted defensive tackles in the country.

I wish Easley the best in whatever he decides his future holds, and while this isn't quite the time for long-winded reminisces, I'm sure I don't speak only for myself when I say I'm heartbroken for him, and will miss him like hell.

Star-divide

Andy Hutchins is Alligator Army's managing editor. Follow Alligator Army on Twitter and Facebook.

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