Recruiting process not slowing down for Moorhead Spuds DL Davis with multiple Power Five offers

Moorhead Spuds junior defensive lineman Elinneus Davis has scholarship offers from six NCAA Division I programs, five of which are from Power Five schools.

Moorhead defensive lineman Elinneus Davis (74) is one of the region’s top football prospects for the class of 2023. Rick Westra / Special to The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

MOORHEAD — Elinneus Davis dedicated last summer to football. He spent the entire break honing his craft and getting stronger.

“I wrote down goals,” said Davis, a junior at Moorhead High School. “Me and my dad talked about goals that I should be getting and should work for. That was basically my motivation for this (past) season and the summer.”

There were no days off for Davis, but the standout defensive lineman’s efforts paid off on the field and on the recruiting trail.

Davis’ recruitment took off during his junior season and hasn’t slowed. The 6-foot-3, 296-pound Davis has scholarship offers from six NCAA Division I programs, five of which are from Power Five schools.

Davis currently holds offers from Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Kansas, Iowa State and North Dakota State. He’s considered the No. 76 defensive lineman in the nation and third-best player in Minnesota in 247 Sports’ composite rating.


“Recruiting is definitely busy,” Davis said. “I’ve had calls at least four times a week, but it’s going good.”

Davis finished his breakout junior campaign with 53 tackles, 15 of those for loss, and two sacks in eight games for the Spuds, who went 5-3 last fall. He’s rated a three-star recruit by both and 247 Sports. Most schools are recruiting him as a defensive tackle, he said.

Elinneus Davis had a standout junior season for Moorhead, recording more than 50 tackles in eight games. Rick Westra / Special to The Forum

Davis took an unofficial visit to Iowa State this past weekend. The Cyclones were the first D-I program to offer Davis back in October.

“The visit was awesome — me and my mom went,” Davis said. “She finally got to experience a visit. I met all the coaches and talked a lot with them, then watched a practice and talked to some of their current players and recent players that are going into the draft.”

The junior standout also visited Minnesota earlier this month. Davis was born in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Park and lived there until he was 5 or 6 years old. The family moved out to the Plymouth-Wayzata area and eventually moved to Moorhead when Davis was in sixth grade so his dad could open an African market.

“With the Minnesota offer, an in-state offer, it was awesome to see that your home college wants you to play football for them,” Davis said. “Coming from the places that I came from in Brooklyn Park, we were in the bad area where there were shootings almost every night. It was definitely tough, with no money, to get to a place where we can finally afford things in our life.”

Davis developed a strong work ethic from his parents, who emigrated from Liberia, and helps at their market when he can. He’ll work after practice or school — or in the summer, before his training regimen.

“My mom and my dad are the hardest workers I know,” said Davis, who just wrapped up his junior basketball season for the Spuds. “They’ve had to work for everything they’ve gotten. That definitely pushes me.”


Moorhead football standout Elinneus Davis (74) landed on a number of Division I radars after a strong junior season for the Spuds.
Rick Westra / Special to The Forum

Davis is also motivated by his teammates and former Moorhead players. The Spuds football program has produced at least nine Division I recruits since 2017.

“I’m a competitive person,” Davis said. “So if you’re getting Division I offers, I also want to get Division I offers.

“To be surrounded by those coaches and players is a blessing. Coach (Kevin) Feeney, the head coach, Coach (Matt) Anderson, my position coach, and Coach (Spencer) Stowers have basically pushed me to the man I am today.”

Davis has always wanted to play football, but he’s never had his sights set on one school. He’d like to make his decision this summer, before his senior football season rolls around.

“Growing up, I never really watched college football,” he said. “I basically just watched the NFL, because it would be on on Sundays right after church.”

Davis' mom put him in football in second grade, to get him outdoors and keep him occupied. He played a tight-end like position in his early years in the sport, but Davis would've played anywhere. He loved the game right away.

“I was one of those lazy kids that would be on their phones or iPad just watching and playing games,” Davis said. “She basically got me into football so I could keep busy. She was working all the time and couldn’t babysit me the whole time.”

Davis plans to return to Ames, Iowa, on June 17, for an official visit. He's in the process of scheduling more.


Standout defensive lineman Elinneus Davis finished his junior season with 53 tackles, 15 of those for loss, and two sacks in eight games for the Spuds. Rick Westra / Special to The Forum

Carissa Wigginton is a high school sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. A Fargo native, she graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Wigginton joined The Forum’s sports department in August 2019.
What to read next
A focus group sent out latest proposal to administrators and athletic directors across the state Friday.
Cloquet (Minn.) High School rising senior Reese Sheldon has verbally committed to play football for NDSU.
Fargo 12U All-Stars prep for Midwest Region Tournament, UND football opens practice, NDSU picks up South Dakota recruit
Kindred Vikings lineman Riley Sunram has received scholarship offers from Minnesota, NDSU and UND for football.