June 2, 2023

“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. The nominees this week came in from far and wide, with several impressive performances under consideration for the honor.

For the second consecutive week, a two-way performers took home the honor.

Colton Bower, a senior quarterback out of Poulsbo (Wash.) North Kitsap, dazzled on the field Friday night in a 56-21 win over Bremerton (Wash.) High School. He finished the night with 359 yards passing, connecting on six touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 99 yards on 11 carries. On defense, he added an interception for good measure.

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“As a player, he’s the type of generational kid you get once a career,” North Kitsap coach Jeff Weible told Sports Illustrated. “He’s a phenomenal athlete who plays football, baseball, basketball. On the football field he has just been a beast. He was an all-state linebacker as a freshman, all-state defensive back as a sophomore and he will probably be first-team quarterback and defensive back as a senior.

“Off the field, he’s an even better kid. Humble, quiet, kind of leads by example. He’s been a captain for three years for us.”

A gifted athlete with accolades in each sport, with a state championship basketball ring to his name in addition to ranking as one of the region’s top catchers in baseball while being committed to play at Washington State, he has played all over the field in football. Bower has made starts at tight end, linebacker, defensive back and of course quarterback on varsity. He even kicked a game-winning field goal as a sophomore.

“Just to watch him operate the offense, if something is not open, he scrambles,” Weible said. “He’s got great speed, great elusiveness. You just stand back in awe in watching him do things. He’s a pretty special kid.”

North Kitsap has played six games in 2021 and sits undefeated, in dominant fashion, averaging 52.3 points per game and giving up less than 12 behind Bower. As quarterback, he is completing 70% of his passes and has thrown for 27 touchdowns against just one interception. Seven more scores have come on the ground as a rusher and on defense he has picked off three passes.

Bower’s overall athleticism and football IQ makes his coach think he could “absolutely play safety at the Division I level.” Weible said he told University of Washington head coach Jimmy Lake the senior reminded him of former Husky star and current Los Angeles Ram defensive back Taylor Rapp, who was just named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after snagging two interceptions on Sunday against the New York Giants.

“It’s his nose for the football,” Weible says of Bower’s projection at safety. “He’s got 26 career interceptions, and that’s counting just five games last year because of COVID. We think he’s closing in on a state record. He can read the quarterbacks eyes and he studies film.

“We all have lunch together every day and he’s always the first guy watching film during lunch, so he’s well-prepared by the time Friday night rolls around.”

Bower, listed at 6′, 195-pounds has spent the bulk of his offseasons focused on his first love, baseball. His coach thinks if some of that was directed towards football, he would have FBS scholarship offers on the table. Programs like Washington and Air Force have shown interest to date and while the senior would like more football opportunities, the current plan is to play baseball for Washington State, where he made a verbal commitment in 2020.

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