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2022 Football Preview: Top 10 Linebackers
From edge rushers to run-stuffers, this top ten list is crowded with high octane performers
Published: 7/26/2022 3:03:27 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


As we head towards a new football season in the fall of 2022, is getting fans ready by unveiling the Top 10 players at each position.  These lists feature players from all corners of the state, and from all six classification levels.  Each week, we'll publish a new list of Top 10 players.  Here's the schedule:

July 7 (Offensive Linemen)

July 13 (Defensive Linemen)

July 20 (Running Backs)

July 27 (Linebackers)

August 3 (Wide Receivers/Tight Ends)

August 10 (Defensive Backs)

August 17 (Quarterbacks)

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Linebackers to watch out for in 2022.  These selections have been made by the editorial staff at, and are listed in alphabetical order by school.  We made these selections based on a number of factors, including: returning All-State or All-Conference pedigree, college recruiting hype, and the good old-fashioned eye test.

Jack Dennis, Bishop Kelly (Sr.)

Dennis stands 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, and has the skillset to play wherever the Bishop Kelly coaching staff decides to line him up at.  He displays great downhill speed when defending the run or rushing the passer.  But he's no slouch in coverage, either.  The 1st Team All-State and All-Conference selection jumps off the screen when you see the film.

Carter Davis, Eagle (Sr.)

The 6-foot-3, 220 pound edge rusher/outside linebacker is among Idaho's ten best overall recruits in the class of 2022.  He's downright unblockable on the pass rush, and added roughly 15 pounds of muscle to his frame during the offseason.  Schools like Idaho and Idaho State have shown interest, but because Davis carries a 4.3 GPA, iconic educational institutes like Army, Navy, Penn and Brown have reached out as well. 

Kyle Jacobsen, Firth (Sr.)

Jacobsen finished his junior year with 79 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, and 1st Team All-State and All-Conference honors.  The 6-foot-2, 210 pound athlete is also a standout on the basketball court and an excellent hurdler on the track.  The sky's the limit for Firth athletics in 2022-23, and Jacobsen is a big reason why.

Mason Fullmer, Highland (Sr.)

Fullmer is a rare three-year starter at Highland.  He actually saw time at running back his freshman year during Highland's playoff run due to an injury to former starter Kaleb Demuzio.  Once his sophomore year began, though, the Rams coaching staff shifted Fullmer to the defensive side of the ball, and the rest is history.  Fullmer led the Rams in tackles in 2021 with 99 total stops.

D'Orr Packer, Homedale (Sr.)

Packer is on the smaller size compared to his counterparts on this list.  But at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, he is stout.  Packer led the Trojans in tackles last season with 56, and was named 1st Team All-Conference for his efforts.  As good as he is on the gridiron, Packer also plays catcher on Homedale's baseball team, and could have a future in that sport, as well.

Blayne Meyer, Horseshoe Bend (Sr.)

Meyer is 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, and uses his quickness to his advantage.  Meyer easily could have qualified for our Top 10 Running Backs list, but the great thing about 8-man football is that everyone plays both ways.  Meyer was an All-Conference selection at running back and linebacker last year, and while his offensive contributions will be important this year, it's his defensive abilities that will shine the brightest, especially during the playoffs.

Ty Hambly, Lewis County (Sr.)

Like Meyer above  him, Hambly was a two-way standout for Lewis County last year.  He piloted the Eagles' offense at QB, where he ran for 986 yards and passed for 827 yards.  But his defensive contributions were just as important.  Hambly averaged 10 tackles per game, and racked up more than 20 tackles for loss.  For good measure, he also returned 3 kickoffs for touchdowns.

Nathan Reynolds, Meridian (Sr.)

Reynolds has great size for a linebacker (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) and knows how to use that size to his advantage.  Reynolds showcased a strong all-around game during an All-State campaign last year, as he racked up 77 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions.  Reynolds has received interest from Army, Navy, Idaho and Idaho State, among others.

Gage Tanner, Rocky Mountain (Sr.)

Tanner is a 6-foot-1, 215 pound, three-star recruit in the state of Idaho.  Division I colleges like Boise State, BYU, Nevada and Southern Mississippi have all reached out, and it's apparent why.  His size and sheer physicality make him an imposing run defender, but he also has a deft touch in coverage.

Wes Benefield, Sandpoint (Sr.)

Benefield has been making plays for Sandpoint since his sophomore year, but everyone around the state finally noticed his abilities a year ago, when Sandpoint made it all the way to the Class 4A championship game.  Benefield finished the year with 125 tackles and 10 tackles for loss, and was named 4A's Defensive Player of the Year.  

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