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April 24, 2010Marcus Easley dreamed of one day being able to play in the NFL.
That dream came true Saturday.
Easley, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound wide receiver, was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the ninth pick of the fourth round, 107 overall.
He watched the draft at home with his family and several close friends.
"Somebody took me and is giving me an opportunity to play professional football," Easley told the Hartford Courant. "Whether it was yesterday, today or another day, I'm grateful."
The path to the NFL was circuitous for Easley. A lightly-recruited quarterback from Stratford (Conn.) Bunnell, Easley originally enrolled at UConn as a student before choosing to walk on.
Left to play sparingly on special teams over his first four seasons, Easley emerged as the Huskies' leading receiver in the second half of the 2009 season and finished with 48 receptions for 893 yards and eight touchdowns.
Easley was the first UConn player selected in the 2010 NFL Draft, marking the fourth consecutive year, and fifth time in six years, a UConn player has been drafted.
Running back Andre Dixon and defensive end Lindsey Witten also have a shot of being selected.