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"Freak" is a term thrown around too much in the sports world, but sometimes, it's the first phrase that crowds the cranium when a gaudy athletic feat takes place.

What about an entire game's worth of head-turning and gasps?

SI All-American continues its salute to these dominant high school football players in a weekly feature, aptly titled 'Freak of the Week,' going out to a remarkable Friday night performance. This one came on a Saturday, in the first independent state championship to be held in Florida. 

Trae Tomlinson tilted the game towards Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International over Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy White in a 54-22 rout. The senior defensive back registered four interceptions and returned a punt for a touchdown in the commanding win. He added eight tackles on defense for good measure. 

“Trae might be the most explosive athlete we’ve had at CAI,” head coach Jesse Chinchar told SI. “When you turn on the tape you can see that burst immediately. Wether it’s flying up to the line of scrimmage in the run game or in coverage…or returning punts and kicks. He brings a different speed to the table. I think a lot of guys run fast forty’s, and some guys play really fast. But Trae does both. 

“He’s a physical presence against the run, but also has elite cover skills. And with four picks in the state title game he’s proven he can change the game!”

Tomlinson, who played safety all game, wrapped up his prep career with hardware to his name in winning the game’s MVP award, too. 

“I watched film and looked at the tendencies of the linemen, so I was able to read my keys, trust my instincts and make plays on the ball,” he said. “The picks that I got were all fade routes and another was a double-reverse trick play. I read it…the quarterback did not see me coming.  

“It was my best game ever. My dad, the day before, told me I was gonna get the MVP and I did.”

As if the defensive plays weren’t enough in terms of an impact, the punt return score put the icing on the Freak of the Week performance. 

“It bounced once, I caught it, cut up field and rolled straight through,” Tomlinson said. “I’m pretty sure it was the first return touchdown in school history, too.”

Recruiting has picked up for the senior, a native of Winnipeg, Canada, though he continues to explore all options.   

“I just got an offer from Robert Morris University,” he said. “But other programs are talking to me, too. I might wait it out, I don’t know yet. I’m talking to Kansas State, Ohio, Georgia State and Toledo.

“We’ll see if anything else comes up.”

Freak of the Week

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2021 Freak of the Week Archive

Week 0 - Pike Road (Ala.) Quarterback Iverson Hooks

Week 1 - Port St. Lucie (Fla.) Running Back Eden James

Week 2 - Gautier (Miss.) Quarterback Kaden Irving

Week 3 - Millville (N.J.) Running Back LeQuint Allen

Week 4 - Santa Rosa Beach (Fla.) South Walton Tight End Pearce Spurlin III

Week 5 - Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine Military Quarterback Holden Geriner

Week 6 - Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei Quarterback Elijah Brown

Week 7 - St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood Defensive Back Terrell Crosby

Week 8 - Poulsbo (Wash.) North Kitsap Quarterback Colton Brewer

Week 9 - Tracy (Calif.) Kimball Quarterback Nicholas Coronado

Week 10 - Tiger (Ga.) Rabun County QB Gunner Stockton, Rockwall (Texas) QB Braedyn Locke

Week 11 - Medina (Ohio) Quarterback Drew Allar

Week 12 - Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic Quarterback Alex Brown

Week 13 - Denton (Texas) Guyer Quarterback Jackson Arnold

Week 14 - St. Louis (Mo.) St. Mary’s Wide Receiver Kevin Coleman

Have a Freak of the Week nominee? Tweet @SIAllAmerican or @SBLiveSports each weekend for a chance to be featured!