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2023 Idaho High School Football Preview: Top 10 Running Backs
A bevy of dual-threat backs make up this year's list, further showcasing the versatility needed at the position
Published: 7/19/2023 3:31:21 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


As we head towards a new football season in the fall of 2023, is once again 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:

June 26 (Offensive Linemen)

July 3 (Defensive Linemen)

July 10 (Special Teams)

July 17 (Running Backs)

July 24 (Linebackers)

July 31 (Wide Receivers/Tight Ends)

August 7 (Defensive Backs)

August 14 (Quarterbacks)

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Running Backs to watch out for in 2023.  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.

Peter Minnaert, Sr, Bishop Kelly

Minnaert became the latest bell-cow back at BK, rushing for 1,477 yards and 27 touchdowns while leading the Knights to the 4A championship game. Minnaert is a physical, down-hill runner, and uses his 6-foot, 200 pound frame well.

Sawyer Hewett, Jr, Kendrick

Looking at the overall stats won’t help you when assessing how Hewett did in 2022. Hewett missed six weeks of regular season action, but saved his absolute best for last. In a 42-34 shootout with Dietrich for the 1AD2 championship, Hewett finished with 257 yards of total offense, and scored four touchdowns (twice on the ground, twice through the air). His efforts earned him Player of the Game honors for the championship game.

Jackson Lathen, Sr, Lewiston

The 5-foot-10, 185 pound senior is a marvel to watch every time he touches the ball. Lathen rushed for 840 yards and 8 touchdowns on just 79 carries a year ago, while adding 383 yards and an additional seven touchdowns receiving. Lathen is a threat to break for a touchdown on any given play, and Lewiston is counting on that type of production again in 2023.

Rylie Byington, Sr, Meridian

At 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, Byington could play running back or slot receiver at the next level, and the stats back that up. A year ago, Byington rushed for 720 yards and six scores, while also catching 27 passes for 445 yards and seven scores. After serving as part of a backfield timeshare a year ago, Byington could explode with more opportunities in 2023.

Ryken EchoHawk, Sr, Pocatello

EchoHawk boasts a compact frame at 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, but offers perhaps the best blend of strength and speed of any back on this list. He’s been a starter in the Pocatello backfield since day one of his freshman year, and as he approaches his final campaign with the Thunder, the question is: what area of his game will be improved this year? He’s already made significant strides in his agility, receiving skills and overall strength.

Carson Harris, Sr, Sugar-Salem

Any player that can eclipse the 1,000 yard mark in a season is the type of running back that college coaches covet. Harris barely cleared that hurdle, finishing with 1,030 yards and 12 scores on the ground. But consider this: Harris was part of a loaded backfield that saw several different athletes handle the ball a year ago. There’s no denying that Harris is primed for another big season for the Diggers.

Thomas Heuseveldt, Sr, Teton

The 5-foot-11, 185 pound senior does it all for the Timberwolves. A year ago, Heuseveldt averaged 9.3 yards per carry, rushing for 973 total yards on only 105 carries. He also scored 17 rushing touchdowns, while adding 570 yards and nine touchdowns receiving. Earlier this summer, he picked up his first official college offer, and more are sure to come.

Rylan West, Sr, Timberline (Weippe)

West is a 220-pound bruiser who also features sneaky breakaway speed. That combination of skills has made tackling West a tough assignment for opponents in the Whitepine League. Further complicating matters is the fact that West could have qualified for our Top 10 Linebackers list (set to release next week), which also means he knows how defenders think and how he can avoid them when running the rock.

Jesse Chavez, Sr, Wendell

Chavez was Wendell’s leader in all-purpose yards a year ago, finishing with 930 total yards, 897 of which came on the ground. Chavez found the end zone eight times a year ago, but the underlying stats suggest he is due for an uptick in production for his senior season. One big indicator of future success is the fact that Chavez averaged 99.7 rushing yards per game a year ago. Even a modest increase in that per-game total could push Chavez to the 1,000 yards plateau this year.

Parker Moser, Sr, West Side

No Cage Brokens? No problem! After West Side said goodbye to their leading rusher from the previous three seasons, Moser stepped into the lead back role and thrived in the Pirates’ Wing-T attack. Moser finished his junior campaign with 1,782 total yards and 23 touchdowns. Moser and company are motivated to get the Pirates back to the state championship after falling to Bear Lake in overtime in last year’s semifinals.

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