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Freak of the Week: Iverson Hooks

SI All-American brings back the football spotlight feature, Freak of the Week, highlighting the top high school football prospect performances nationally.

"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 restores its salute to these dominant high school football players in a weekly feature, aptly titled 'Freak of the Week' as the 2021 season kicks off. 

There were, naturally, dozens of strong, stat-driven candidates following Week 0 in high school football nationally, from USC quarterback commitment Devin Brown's eight-touchdown debut at Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon  to No. 1 overall recruit Travis Hunter's gaudy senior debut for Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill High School, where he caught 13 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns, threw for another score and picked off a pass on defense. 

But when the stat line is paired with a marquee opponent and represents the initial game back for a prospect following a torn ACL, it is hard to top. 

Iverson Hooks is the initial Freak of the Week for the 2021 season. 

The Pike Road (Ala.) High School star quarterback also was in the middle of the wildest kick off game of the season, as his squad traveled to Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen before a basketball game broke out. Hooks went off to lead Pike Road to a stunning 76-51 win Friday night in a game that required a double take in more ways than one. 

It was Hooks who steadied Pike Road's ship in that need to score just about every time the offense took the field. The senior racked up 307 yards rushing on 16 carries, including three scores from more than 65 yards out. Two more touchdown runs came from inside the five for the former Austin Peay commitment. Hooks also took to the air with success, throwing for 219 yards and three more touchdowns to wrap-up the eight-score day in dominant fashion, putting the Yellowhammer State on notice of his dual-threat abilities. 

"We just had a good scheme going into the game and my coach trusted me with the ball," Hooks said. "I just tried to execute to the best of my ability. I knew going into the game I was going to have to use my legs to set up throwing the ball...it just worked out to be perfect. 

"I just knew, no matter what was going down, we had to score--and score fast--because it was an offensive game."

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What made the performance more memorable for those tracking Hooks' progression into the 2021 season, was the recovery from an ACL injury. Known as an explosive runner, there were many curious as to how his return would look like. 

Of course, any worry was quelled early in the shootout contest.

"It was my first game back and everyone wanted to see me play," Hooks said. "I'm not going to lie, I kind of had the jitters, but after that first play it just came out of me and I knew I was back at 100%.

"I had to be there for my team in the offseason before I could be back. I had to get back in shape and do whatever I had to do to help the team." 

Naturally, the reminder of what Hooks can bring to the table with the ball in his hands prompted questions about the next level. Several FBS scholarship offers are on the table, but the senior does not appear to be in a rush to make a verbal commitment. 

"I'm just being patient with it and letting it be in God's hands," he said. "The program that has been recruiting me the hardest is probably UAB." 

Programs are considering Hooks at quarterback and wide receiver, depending on school, but the senior just wants to play football. He says he has no preference regarding college projection as he aims for a shot at the Power 5 level. 

If Mario Cristobal and/or Oregon connect with him, it could accelerate things. 

"My dream school is definitely Oregon!"

Freak of the Week

SI All-American will name a Freak of the Week throughout the 2021 high school football season. Revisit some of the 2020 honorees here