Sean Toomey-Stout was one of 28 walk-ons — players without scholarships — who drew a uniform and showed up in April for University of Washington spring football practice.
For someone from football-isolated Whidbey Island and tiny 1A Coupeville High School in Coupeville, Washington, mixing in with every imaginable 4-star recruit and all-conference recipient from any number of powerhouse schools and pigskin-minded states from Hawaii to Texas, this could be an eye-opening experience.
A deer-in-the-headlights moment, per se.
For all of those reasons, Toomey-Stout, a freshman cornerback, faces extremely long odds to play in a Husky football game, though the upcoming Montana and Arkansas State games could provide minutes. Not to besmirch his talent level any, but he's trying to steal time away from a lot of guys headed to the NFL.
Yet the 5-foot-9, 180-pounder has witnessed the highly improbable up close. Experienced the impossible with a football in his hands. Done something totally unheard of.
In 2018, Toomey-Stout returned a high school kickoff 95 yards for a Coupeville High touchdown, running nearly the entire length of the field — escorted by a party-crashing deer. An accommodating, bouncing blacktail. Bambi between the hashmarks.
Together, they went the distance and this unlikely football tandem went viral, as shown here.
Going down the roster in numerical order, this is another of our post-spring assessments of all of the Husky talent at hand, gleaned from a month of observations, as a way to keep everyone engaged during the offseason.
Toomey-Stout wears No. 30, a Husky jersey made famous by the great Junior Coffey, a Rose Bowl fullback who advanced to the NFL and actually has plenty of animal stories to share himself. For decades, he's trained racehorses at Longacres and Emerald Downs race tracks.
As for that Whidbey Island deer, it came walking through the end zone as Toomey-Stout had the kickoff go off his hands, forcing the player to backtrack to the 5 to reclaim the muff.
While this was going on, the animal passed him, suddenly picked up speed and shot through the middle of the action. As the crowd roared its approval, the furry, light-on-its-feet intruder led the way to the end zone, with the speedy Toomey-Stout following a similar route.
The deer crossed the goal line with the kick returner running about 40 yards behind him, and it disappeared into the darkness before the player got there.
Toomey-Stout's mother, Beth, joked that the deer had blocked for her son's moment of glory.
Multiple people captured video of the wildlife-meets-touchdown moment and shared it with anyone who wanted to see it. ESPN replayed it. USA Today did the same and received 300,000 views.
For Toomey-Stout, this highly unlikely football pairing no doubt convinced him that if he could run with deer, he could do the same with Huskies.
Toomey-Stout's 2021 Outlook: Projected reserve cornerback
UW Service Time: None
Individual Honors: None
Pro prospects: None
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