A4I: Nothing came easy for Easley

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Bills receiver Marcus Easley is not a quitter.  At Bunnell High School in Connecticut, he only made the starting lineup his senior season. Despite playing well, he failed to garner the attention of Division 1 coaches. Instead of pursuing athletics, he accepted an academic scholarship to UConn.

Throughout his freshman year he dominated in intramural football. He decided to tryout for the Huskies and made the team as a walk on. Again, he waited until his senior to get his chance. During his senior campaign he had 893 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Drafted in the fourth round by the Bills, he became the first receiver in UConn history to be drafted into the NFL.

The fairytale story quickly went south. During preseason of his rookie year with the Bills, he hurt his knee. The following year he received a shocking diagnosis of a heart condition. He returned in 2013 as a Bills practice squad player. It wasn’t until this year that he finally made the Bills roster and played a full season. Currently he is on the Pro Bowl ballot for special teams.

Throughout Easley’s career there was someone always telling him he was not good enough, he was not strong enough or he was not big enough. At every level of his career, he could have walked away from the game and no one would have criticized him for it. In fact, many probably would have encouraged it. Despite the adversity he faced and the people that doubted him, he always believed that he could overcome any obstacles and show the world that he had the talent, ability and the heart to excel at the highest level of football.

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