The truth about freshmen Powell and Easley

By Adam Silverstein
August 25, 2010

There is no mutiny, there are no threats of transfer and no lockers were cleared out, but Florida Gators five-star freshmen defensive end Ronald Powell and defensive tackle Dominique Easley are each dealing with their own separate issues that came to a head Tuesday. Despite rumors and speculation stating the contrary, Powell and Easley did not rally together to combat rough treatment from veterans and neither wishes to leave the University of Florida, a source close to the program told OGGOA on Wednesday.

Powell, who head coach Urban Meyer said had a “great practice on Monday” and was seen working with the team on Wednesday, simply could not have missed multiple practices, as rumored elsewhere. He even dressed and participated in a portion of practice on Tuesday but did leave the field early after a growing sense of frustration overcame him, our source said.

The No. 1 overall recruit in the country coming out of high school, Powell is having some trouble coming to the realization that he is not the best player on the field each day and has a lot of work to do in order to reach his full potential. This happens often when a player is the best on his team – or perhaps the best in his state – in high school and joins a college program loaded with top talent.

As our source put it, every freshman on the team – at one time or another – has a moment where they get rattled; some deal with it internally or by talking to coaches, others act out and leave practice for a day to clear their heads. It is common and happens more often than you might believe.

Easley, on the other hand, is not dealing with that same frustration – at least not publicly; his problems are not “football-related.” In his case, a “personal issue” is causing him some trouble. He did indeed miss practice on Tuesday, but returned Wednesday and participated in full. Our source added that, due to privacy concerns, he would not get into specifics regarding Easley’s personal issue but did mention that it is something he has to “work out on his own.”

Both Powell and Easley met with coaches about their respective issues.

As far as the comments from senior center Mike Pouncey on Tuesday that the freshman class as a whole needs to “shut their mouths and come play,” that is indeed a sentiment felt throughout the program. There is a sense of entitlement being portrayed by the freshmen as a whole, but it is not something the veteran players or coaching staff have been surprised by. That issue is being dealt with on a day-to-day basis and is being slowly remedied as the youngsters continue to be integrated into the program.

When Florida closed practice to fans and the media a few weeks ago, the main reason stated was to keep out “bad guys” and ensure that the players were safe. Just as important in the decision making was Meyer’s desire to rid the team of the distractions, speculation and media pressure that it felt trying to defend its title last season. As our source put it, if you think Meyer was angry about Jeremy Fowler’s alleged misquote of now-redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson in the Orlando Sentinel last March, you have no idea how fuming mad he is about these false reports.

“He wants the person whose responsible’s head on a stick,” our source said.

Photo Credit: Heather Riggs/The Independent Florida Alligator


  1. SaraGator says:

    Powell has a lot to overcome. He has changed coasts, the weather is a hotter and more humid in Florida than California, and he is no longer top dog.

    If he is the character that we think he is than he will succeed. The price at the end is great. Just look at the 9 Gators that were drafted this year.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    The second that these guys run out of the swamp tunnel next Saturday all will be forgot as they will realize why they are here. I remember as a freshmen living in hall 95, I could walk outside and watch the freshmen players get hazed nightly. It was hot sauce and punches in the stomach to toughen these guys up. These freshmen are the future of our program but need to work to get there and need to be toughened up. A little fraternal football hazing will get them set to lead. They are essentially whiny pledges right now that need to realize they are not in control but hold an important piece to the UF football future.

  3. Gatorbuc15 says:

    I cannot say it enough, that I HATE RUMORS! They do nothing good, and cause a lot of turmoil where there shouldn’t be any. Whoever leaked out these false rumors is an A######!

    I’m with Urban, let’s find this guy and string him up by his thumbs!!!

  4. zurbo says:

    “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa….waaaaaaaaaa. Mike Pouncey is making me feel like a freshman” – Ronald Powell

  5. John Shanks says:

    Thank God…this kind of reminds me of the basketball 04’s…here’s hoping

  6. WeWinWeEat says:

    Thanks for the consistent updates Adam. This closed practice thing is killing all of us. You’ve put Gatorsports to shame.

  7. The guys at The Gainesville Sun do a fantastic job. Especially Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu; nevertheless, I really appreciate that comment. Thank you.

  8. Jesse G says:

    Nice page and thanks for the truth.

  9. Charles says:

    I’d have to say that I come here before I go to (the Gainesville Sun) though. You do a great job Adam. I enjoy your opinion and theirs, if you’re not employed for your writings, you should be.

  10. Rich says:

    This is why only get my gator news here. Great job as always Adam! Really nice work.

  11. OrlGata says:

    I found this site by accident a while back and glad I did. You guys have the best coverage I have seen anywhere.
    Great job!

  12. cline says:

    Agreed. great site.

  13. GATOR CREW says:

    I agree with Rich! I ALWAYS come here first, at least 5 times a day.

    Great job Adam!!!!!

  14. Drew Kearney says:

    It must be difficult for these kids to come to a program like Florida and realize that no matter high up in the food chain they were in HS it’s possible that they could come in and may not even start their Freshman year. That has to be a BIG hit to their egos and something that they will have to deal with until they mature.

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