5 Most Surprising Players From UW Spring Football

This group consists of three Husky holdovers and a pair of newcomers.
Elinneus Davis has been a spring football surprise.
Elinneus Davis has been a spring football surprise. / Skylar Lin Visuals

Elinneus Davis enrolled early at the University of Washington and showed up for spring football practice, but he arrived with some sort of injury and couldn't dive in right away. He wasn't in great shape. He stood off to the side alone. He looked lost.

Twelve months later, the transformation in the second spring ball for the 6-foot-2, 322-pound defensive tackle from the border town of Moorhead, Minnesota, which uniquely is a suburb of Fargo, North Dakota, has been truly remarkable.

His body looks taunt and trim for someone at his position. Where he used to shuffle onto the field, Davis looks overly athletic for a big man as he bounces across the artificial turf with nimble feet. He's fully engaged with his teammates, no longer a shy freshman. He's a totally different player

With so much roster turnover for the national runner-up Huskies now answering to a different coach in Jedd Fisch, Davis easily could be one of the nearly two dozen new guys who joined the team this spring and had to introduce themselves around because he was once so disconnected. Instead, he's the biggest surprise of the spring for changing everything about his football situation, as one of five players who have made spring observers do a double-take.

Elinneus Davis -- At the Sugar Bowl, he offered the frank assessment that he needed work on every aspect of his game. Obviously, he did something about it. This spring, he's worked mostly with the No. 2 defense. Last Saturday, he had his best outing yet, in particular coming through on a bull rush to swat down a Demond Williams Jr. pass and a short time later making a stop at the line of scrimmage. He wears one of the most iconic Husky jersey numbers,, with his 90 once belonging to defensive tackle Steve Emtman, whose aggressiveness and playmaking were hugely responsible for the UW winning a1991 national championship.

Elinneus Davis has slimmed down since his freshmen season.
Elinneus Davis has slimmed down since his freshmen season. / Skylar Lin Visuals

Dyson McCutcheon -- The son and grandson of NFL players, McCutcheon had played before as a reserve Husky nickelback, 12 games in fact over the previous two seasons. Yet he seemed pigeon-holed as someone with limited responsibility. However, Jedd Fisch's staff has viewed him as starting material and that's the role he's held much of the spring.

Dyson McCutcheon has been running as the UW's No. 1 nickel.
Dyson McCutcheon has been running as the UW's No. 1 nickel. / Skylar Lin Visuals

Adam Mohammed -- The freshman running back from Glendale, Arizona, makes you stop and stare when you see his cut 6-foot, 200-pound physique. He turned 18 last Friday and he looks 28 when you watch him on the football field with his defined biceps and well-developed legs. He'll play right away. He could have star potential when the starting job becomes his, probably in 2025.

Adam Mohammed shows off his cut physique.
Adam Mohammed shows off his cut physique. / Skylar Lin Visuals

Demond Williams Jr. -- Everyone knew this guy was good. After all, he was the Arizona 6A Player of the Year. Yet he's been better than expected right out of the gate, needing almost no time to adjust to his college surroundings. With 4.4 40-yard dash speed, he'll be the fastest UW quarterback or at least one of them, not wanting to forget how electric Mark Brunell once was. Williams' presence no doubt was a big reason fellow freshman Dermaricus Davis entered the transfer portal a week ago.

Demond Williams Jr. delivers a spring pass.
Demond Williams Jr. delivers a spring pass. / Skylar Lin Visuals

Thaddeus Dixon -- A junior-college transfer last year, Dixon was a nice supplemental piece to the Husky defense, appearing in 14 games at cornerback and even starting against USC in Los Angeles, his hometown. He came up with an interception against Washington State and a pair of break-ups against both Michigan State and Fisch's Arizona team, seven PBUs on the season in all. Fisch's staff is giving him every opportunity to beat out incumbent Elijah Jackson and claim a starting corner job.

Thaddeus Dixon is making a strong bid for a starting job.
Thaddeus Dixon is making a strong bid for a starting job. / Skylar Lin Visuals

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Dan Raley


Dan Raley has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, as well as for MSN.com and Boeing, the latter as a global aerospace writer. His sportswriting career spans four decades and he's covered University of Washington football and basketball during much of that time. In a working capacity, he's been to the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, the MLB playoffs, the Masters, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and countless Final Fours and bowl games.