SIAA Freak of the Week: Aaron Gates
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 our salute to these dominant high school football players in a weekly feature, of course titled 'Freak of the Week.'
High school football is underway in several states and the wild, almost Fantasy sports-type statistical performances are piling in. FOTW candidates can be dominant in the trenches or beyond the numbers, but we shift to defense for this week after Corey Kiner ran away with the call last week.
The feature isn't limited to seniors, either.
Aaron Gates, a class of 2023 defensive back who piled up offers this offseason, had a Friday night he would not soon forget for Sharpsburg (Ga.) Trinity Christian in the turnover department. The Lions had six interceptions as a team, with Gates hauling in four of the picks against Hampton (Ga.) High School.
On one of the thefts, he would scamper into the end zone from 8 yards out for an easy pick-six.
"I already knew what was coming before they ran it," Gates told SI All-American. "They loved slants and hitches so I just played deep and baited them the whole night.
"We had seven as a team but one got called back."
Listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds by Trinity Christian, Gates has collected verbal scholarship offers from programs like LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Pitt and others.
The sophomore prospect is in the early stages of his recruitment, excited about closing in on double-digit offers but in "no rush" to make a verbal commitment.
"Gates played mostly field corner during the game vs. Hampton, often working in off-coverage alignments with some cover-4/quarters concepts to execute on the backend," SI All-American recruiting analyst Edwin Weathersby II said. "He showed fair patience versus vertical stems on the perimeter and eye discipline. His four interceptions also were a result of eye-tracking and ball skills to produce at catch points.
"Aside from his pick-quartet on defense, Gates also delivered a key block as a receiver for the Trinity Christian offense, which led to a rushing touchdown. He also displayed some special teams prowess, producing a stop as a gunner on the punt team."
Check out Gates' performance from the 48-6 win below.
Brooks Austin contributed to this feature.
More SI All-American Coverage