One of the top stories in spring camp has been the emergence of junior college transfer linebacker Terry Easmon, who has enrolled in the spring and quickly made an impression on the coaching staff with his size and athleticism.
Head coach Bill Cubit has said that Easmon runs as well for his size as any linebacker that WMU has had in his tenure. This has shown itself this spring as Easmon has gotten extensive playing time with the first team despite still trying to process the playbook and some mental aspects of the game.
Easmon stands at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds and played for American River Community College in Sacramento, Calif., which is also his hometown. While Easmon had scholarship offers coming out of Sacramento's Laguna Creek High School, he didn't receive the attention he was looking for.
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"I had offers out of high school to play tight end and defensive end, but I don't want to play those positions. I'm a linebacker at heart," Easmon said.
This led him to American River, where he impressed enough at linebacker to garner attention around the country, but only two schools offered at the position.
"I only had [WMU] and Texas State, and on my trips I felt like this was more of a family environment, and the best school for me position-wise," Easmon explained. "At Texas State it was not as put together."
Easmon is certainly happy with the way things turned out, as he now has two years of eligibility to play his preferred position at the Division I level.
This spring has had its share of ups and downs for Easmon, whose natural ability will be nearly impossible to keep off the field but is still trying to get up to speed with the playbook and mental aspects of the game. In Saturday's Brown and Gold spring game, Easmon is one of five linebackers included on WMU's Brown team, which is made up of first and second-team players. While coaches have shown plenty of patience and continue to give opportunities, Easmon is somewhat more critical of his own play.
"I need to work on reacting to plays faster, reading the pulls and guards better," he said. "I'm still in the process of learning [the playbook]. I still have some mental errors, but I'll get there."
This confidence in his eventual success is a reflection of the work ethic of Easmon, who said continuously that he sees the opportunity to play early and often and just has to put in the necessary work. This confidence doesn't stretch to every aspect of life in West Michigan for the California native, though.
"That's what I need to get used to," Easmon said with a laugh when asked about Kalamazoo weather. "This cold, and snow, and all that, I didn't have in Sacramento. I'm adjusting to it slowly but surely."