Freak of the Week: Arch Manning
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 gasp?
SI All-American continues a salute to these dominant high school football players in a weekly feature, of course titled 'Freak of the Week.'
High school football is well underway in several states with the playoffs ongoing in a few and the wild, almost Fantasy sports-type statistical performances continue to pile in. FOTW candidates can be dominant in the trenches or beyond the numbers regardless of class, evident again this week with another underclassman taking home the honor.
It's a familiar one, too.
Arch Manning forced our hand coming out of his latest performance, a homecoming win over New Orleans (La.) Cohen. It didn't take more than 12 minutes of action to lock it in, too.
Newman High came out throwing the ball and it worked remarkably, to the point Manning's stat line looked like an ideal night by the end of the opening quarter.
9 for 11 for 169 yards and 5 touchdowns.
In a quarter.
Sure, Cohen High was overmatched and Manning has a plethora of weapons around him who can make plays after the catch, but the numbers and the lead was so gaudy after one that the NFL and SEC legacy quarterback didn't come out to add to the totals the rest of the way.
So the prospect in the class of 2023 -- already with offers from schools one would expect like LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Duke and others -- had a homecoming night wrap up early as Newman went on to win 76-0.
Manning, who made his national television debut earlier this season, is just the second quarterback, and first underclassman quarterback, to be named Freak of the Week.
"What impressed me the most about Manning's performance vs. Cohen was how decisive he was in the pocket," SIAA's Edwin Weathersby II said. "He exhibited quick mental processing in the pre and post-snap phase, and got the ball out in rhythm to his targets with an emphasis in the quick 3-step game. Manning hit his running backs on swings and flares, taking advantage of late motions and pre-snap movement. He also connected on bang-8 posts and slants in the mid-range passing game from RPO concepts - another testament to Newman's staff trusting his mental processing.
"While he worked mostly from the gun, Manning did get under center on a key play to work off play-action. Displaying some ball-handling skills, Manning executed play fake with his non-throwing hand to the back, stayed in sync with his tight end working from split-flow action into the flat and hit his target underneath off his roll. It was a short, but productive night for the young passer, who continues to show well-rounded traits on tape."
Submit FOTW nominations via Twitter @SIAllAmerican.
Freak of the Week - 11/10 - 2024 RB Ronnie Royal
Freak of the Week - 10/28 - 2021 DE Patrick Payton
Freak of the Week - 10/21 - 2021 QB Jaxson Dart
Freak of the Week - 10/13 - 2021 RB Marquis Crosby
Freak of the Week - 10/6 - 2021 WR Liam Clifford
Freak of the Week - 9/29 - 2021 RB Josh Hough
Freak of the Week - 9/22 - 2023 DB Aaron Gates
Freak of the Week - 9/17 - 2021 RB Corey Kiner