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Powerful Easterly looks to excel July 29, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in profiles, Wayne State.
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Detroit native will begin college career as safety

By Kyle Stefan

When the National Letters of Intent were finalized on Signing Day, one burning question remained.

How in the world did Wayne State end up with Zach Easterly?

A 6-foot-3, 210-pound physical specimen, Easterly was ranked No. 37 by Rivals.com, a position that typically signifies a MAC-level or mid-major talent.

Add in his unique combination of speed and power — allowing Easterly to project as either an outside linebacker or strong safety — and it was a wonder that no Division I schools extended offers.

“I was shocked we got him,” admitted WSU head coach Paul Winters. “I don’t know how Zach didn’t get more Division I interest.”

Easterly has an idea.

“Bad film, for one,” he said. “That’s on my part. If I had better film, things might have played out differently.”

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Zach Easterly has the speed and athleticism to play safety but projects as an outside linebacker at the collegiate level. Easterly is pictured as a gunner on punt coverage during Saturday’s MHSFCA All-Star Game. (Photo by Kyle Stefan)

A Detroit native who played his high school football at Cass Tech, Easterly ultimately signed with his hometown program, picking the Warriors over Ferris State and Michigan Tech.

“The recruiting process was difficult because of the expectations,” Easterly said. “I wanted to go D-I and I was expected to go D-I. But things happen.

“I’m happy to be at Wayne State, though. I’m loving every minute. The summer practices, meeting the players, getting to know them — it’s been one good summer.”

The D-I’s loss will be Wayne State’s gain. Easterly will start out as an imposing presence at safety, while the WSU coaching staff will look at any weight and strength gains — and how those impact his speed — before a potential move to linebacker.

“I’d like to play safety and make big hits, but I can play linebacker — the ‘cleanup’ position,” Easterly said. “I like safety, but I’ll play any position. I want to be on the field.”

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