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2023 Idaho High School Football Preview: Top 10 Linebackers
From range-roving tackling machines to athletes who can rush off the edge, here are Idaho's best linebackers
Published: 7/26/2023 2:07:56 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 Linebackers 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.

Koah Ta’aga Harrigfeld, Sr, Bonneville

You might think that Bonneville will be in trouble this year, after losing Jacob Perez (Idaho’s leading tackler last year with 114 total) to graduation.  But Ta’aga Harrigfeld is more than ready to fill the void.  The 6-foot-1, 215 pound linebacker was an All-Conference selection a year ago, and averaged 10.3 tackles per game a year ago.  The senior has impressed this summer, with offers already in from Black Hills State and Montana Tech.  The University of Idaho and Idaho State University have also shown interest.

Troy Smith, Sr, Camas County

The Camas County defense was fierce a year ago, as all eight players contributed to the effort.  But the leader of the defense was Troy Smith.  He led the Mushers in tackles with 88, and was a master of the takeaway with three interceptions and four forced fumbles.  He also added 1.5 sacks to his resume.

Shea Robertson, Sr, Coeur d’Alene

The 6-foot-1, 215 pound Robertson is one of Idaho’s best linebacker prospects.  As a junior, Robertson racked up 89 total tackles, six tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.  He has turned heads on the summer camp scene, and recently picked up an offer from Eastern Washington.

Colton George, Sr, Highland

George has been impacting Highland’s varsity defense since his sophomore season, and now the 6-foot, 190-pounder prepares for his senior campaign.  George finished 2023 with 96 total tackles.  He registered double digit tackle totals in half (five of ten) of Highland’s games, and he tallied nine tackles in two more.  Additionally, George collected five sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception.

Lane Clemenhagen, Sr, Kendrick

Don’t be fooled by Clemenhagen’s 5-foot-10, 146 pound frame.  The senior-to-be packs a serious punch.  Last season, a number of teams from Washington started a nasty habit of canceling games against Kendrick at halftime, due to lopsided scores and concerns over player safety.  In one game specifically, a clean, but violent, hit from Clemenhagen prompted concerns from Liberty Bell High fans and coaches.  That type of clean, aggressive hitting from Clemenhagen and others sets the tone for Kendrick on defense.

Wyatt Fitzmorris, Sr, Kendrick

Another Kendrick defender, built similarly to Clemenhagen.  Fitzmorris is 5-foot-9 and 153 pounds, and hits just as hard as Clemenhagen does.  It can’t be overstated how dominant the Tigers’ defense was in 2022.  In ten contests, Kendrick allowed 9.6 points per game.  Along the way, they pitched five shutouts in a row, and went seven weeks without allowing a single point.  After finishing on the Second Team All-State squad for Class 1AD2 football last year, Fitzmorris is looking for a promotion to the top squad.

Michael Goff, Sr, Kimberly

The 5-foot-11, 195 pound leader of Kimberly’s defense saw his junior season cut short by a knee injury.  But his per-game averages tell the story of the impact he had.  Goff averaged 7.6 tackles per game, and racked up 12.5 tackles for loss in limited action.  Kimberly will battle with Buhl for the conference title again in 2023, and with Goff leading the defense, their battle with the Indians could be a slugfest.

Mason McDaniel, Jr, Nampa Christian

Asked to man the middle of the Trojans’ defense as a sophomore, McDaniel responded with 72 total tackles and three tackles for loss.  In seven contests, Mcdaniel tallied double digit tackle totals five times.  He also finished his season with a sack and an interception.

Brackin Ward, Sr, Preston

Ward finished his junior season with 83 total tackles.  Over half of those tackles (47) were of the solo variety, which means most backs don’t stand a chance in the open field one-on-one against him.  Ward added eight tackles for loss, a sack, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Wyett Oden, Sr, Wendell

Oden stands 6-feet even and weighs 190 pounds, bringing impressive size to the position.  He was clearly Wendell’s leader on defense a year ago, leading the Trojans with 83 total tackles, or 10.4 per game.  He also piled up nine tackles for loss, two sacks and three interceptions.

Fan Comments
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8/16/2023 12:59:37 AM
Missed a Linebacker
Pretty huge transfer to Skyline as a Junior, Corbin Lancaster will surprise everyone.

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