Notebook: D playing for Easley


Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley puts pressure on the Tennessee offensive line during the first half in Gainesville on September 21. Linebacker Michael Taylor says the defense is playing in his honor the rest of the year.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

Senior offensive guard Jon Halapio is one of the strongest players on the team and a star in the weight room, but his injured pectoral muscle has forced him to alter his workout routine.

“I've backed off a lot of upper body work as far as pressing, bench pressing, dumbbells, anything that has to do with pressing,” he said. “I do a lot of band work, back activation workouts. A lot of shoulder mobility stuff.

“I pretty much stay away from all the pressing.”

Halapio missed preseason camp and the first two games of the season recovering from a partially torn pectoral muscle. Doctors have told him there is a chance he could re-tear the muscle by playing. With the help of an upper-body brace, Halapio has had no issues in the two games he's played.

He's certainly not going to risk re-injuring the muscle in the weight room.

“(I probably won't lift again) until after the season just to prevent anything from happening,” he said.

Defense playing for Easley

Linebacker Michael Taylor was asked Wednesday why several players have said this week they are playing to honor Dominique Easley, but no one seems to be doing the same for quarterback Jeff Driskel.

Both suffered season-ending injuries a little more than a week ago.

“A lot of people are saying that,” Taylor said. “Driskel, he has more time here. We knew this was Easley's last year. It's a sad way to go out. And to see what he was doing on the field.

“Not saying anything against Driskel, but to see what Easley was doing on the field was just crazy. Teams were trying to game plan how to stop him. I heard teams were putting three blockers on him.

“It was just detrimental, and knowing that it was going to be his last year, it's just something that didn't sit too well with you. We're playing for him and doing it right by him.”

Taylor said doing it right by Easley means going out and playing like him the rest of the season.

“Very angry, very aggressive and finishing the opposing player and making him completely quit by the end of the game,” Taylor said. “That's what our goal is.”

Roberson returns

Starting cornerback Marcus Roberson has returned to practice this week after missing the past two games with a sprained knee.

“He'll be part of the rotation back there (in the secondary),” defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. “We've got several guys (at cornerback) we feel really good about that we think can play and help us. He's one of them, and he'll rotate.”

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