Husky Roster Review: UW Had Sip of Sam Adams, Could Order More
By Dan Raley,2023-06-09
Watch the University of Washington running backs take turns carrying the football in practice and it's hard to know who's the best one.
Over here, you have Cameron Davis, who scored 13 touchdowns for the Huskies in 2022, and Richard Newton, who piled up 11 TDs for them in 2019.
Over there, you have all of those promising newcomers in the fold, the transfers in Mississippi State's Dillon Johnson, Arizona State's Daniyel Ngata and, from the year before, Nebraska's Will Nixon, plus that very highly regarded freshman in Tybo Rogers from Bakersfield, California.
Oh, and there's one more guy lurking about Montlake, trying to show he belongs — Sam Adams II.
In the recent 15 spring practices, Adams was that guy who every so often broke one and ended up in the end zone, enthusiastically holding the ball up high for everyone to see.
Yet Adams has been around for so long, after showing up in the first season of Jimmy Lake as the Husky coach and basically disappearing for two years with injuries, that Kalen DeBoer's coaching staff still considers himself something akin to a new player.
"He's still a long ways away, to be honest," UW defensive-backs coach Lee Marks said. "Sam was two years removed from playing football. So really, if you think about it, we're only really in year one in his development of being a college football player."
Going down the roster from No. 0 to 99, Adams, who wears No. 28 on offense, is next up in a series of profiles about each of the Huskies' scholarship players and assorted walk-ons, summing up their spring football performances and surmising what might come next for them.
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Much has been expected from the son and grandson of former NFL players — all named Sam Adams — who played his high school football in the Seattle suburbs and fielded 41 scholarship offers, among them Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Ohio State and Texas A&M.
Yet a flurry of injuries, notably a shoulder issue, forced him to basically watch consecutive month-long spring practices go on without him.
With a new coaching staff, which actually had recruited him, his lack of availability and productivity led many to believe he wouldn't be long for the UW.
DeBoer's coaches, however, have been patient and encouraging with Adams, who's been somewhat of a mystery to media members who cover the program. He doesn't do interviews, the only one on the roster who shies from this chore.
The Huskies played him in 9 of 13 games last season, putting him in when others were injured and games were on the line, notably against Arizona State in Tempe.
He scored on a 15-yard TD reception against Colorado and a 4-yarder against Arizona.
"Mentally, he might be an older guy," Marks said. "Physically and a lot of those things, he's still catching up to where he should have been at this point if he'd been playing the last two years."
The Huskies are willing to wait for Adams, who may not be totally ready to go and show everything he's got until 2024, but is doing what he can to advance his career.
This past offseason, he turned his body far more muscular, complete with bulging biceps while filling out a 6-foot-2, 206-pound frame, so he's as committed as ever to becoming more involved.
"Really, where I think it's going to be fun," Marks said, "is to see where Sammy is going to be even from a year from now."
SAM ADAMS II FILE
Service : After sitting out the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Adams played 9 games last fall for the Huskies, usually as the third back and with the game on the line.
Stats: He rushed the ball 13 times for 40 yards and caught 5 passes for 35 yards for a pair of touchdowns, scoring against Arizona and Colorado.
Role: Adams, as his coach points out, probably won't make a big move until 2024, instead simply filling in again where needed as a reserve back.
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