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2023 Idaho High School Football Preview: Top 10 Defensive Linemen
Which pass rushers and run stuffers made our list?
Published: 7/3/2023 1:44:11 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster
brandon@idahosports.com
 

ORDER GAME PHOTOS

As we head towards a new football season in the fall of 2023, IdahoSports.com 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 Offensive Linemen to watch out for in 2023.  These selections have been made by the editorial staff at IdahoSports.com, 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.


Trey Bateman, Sr, Bonners Ferry

Bateman may be known more for his rebounding abilities on the basketball court or his pitching prowess on the baseball diamond, but Trey Bateman is also a very talented defensive lineman.  The 6-foot-3, 250 pound senior finished with 36 tackles a year ago, while also racking up five sacks and six hurries for a Badgers team that went 9-1.

Nik Versis, Sr, Carey

Don’t let his 5-foot-8, 165-pound frame fool you.  Versis is a hybrid rusher, capable of playing both linebacker and defensive line with equal aplomb, which is critical in eight-man football.  Last season as a junior, Versis racked up 122 tackles, and nabbed two interceptions, one of which he took back for a defensive touchdown.

Camden DeGraw, Sr, Coeur d’Alene

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound rusher is Idaho’s top defensive recruit in the Class of 2024, and DeGraw just signed his letter of intent to play for Washington State next year.  As a junior, DeGraw finished with 48 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks and three forced fumbles.  There’s no denying the potential is there for DeGraw to become Idaho’s next high-impact defender at the college level.

Seth Brock, Sr, Eagle

Brock is poised for a special senior season, ranking among Idaho’s top ten football recruits and performing well during summer camps.  Brock stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 220 pounds, giving him the ideal frame to be an edge rusher at the college level.  And in case we forgot to mention: Brock finished last year with 68 tackles and 17 sacks.

Garrett Nelson, Jr, Firth

Firth has had a dominant defensive line for the past three seasons, and Nelson is the latest product of the Cougars’ pass-rushing factory.  Nelson started as a sophomore a year ago, and used his 6-foot-4, 250-pound frame to dip under, overpower and simply sprint past, opposing blockers.  Nelson only got stronger as the postseason went on, as Firth fell 14-6 to Bear Lake in a hotly contested championship game.  If Firth wants to get back to the title game, Nelson and the rest of the Firth defense will be a big reason why.

Porter Whipple, Sr, Kamiah

Whipple projects as a perfect three-technique defensive tackle at the next level, bringing size (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) and speed to the position.  Whipple led a strong Kamiah unit with 16 sacks a year ago, and of his 78 tackles, 27 of those were for a loss of yardage.  Kamiah was a 1AD1 semifinalist a year ago, and if Whipple can replicate that production, the Kubs will be favorites to get there again.

Dallas Morgan, Sr, Kendrick

Morgan could have easily qualified for our offensive lineman list as well.  The 6-foot-4, 255-pound senior saw his 2022 season end prematurely due to injury, but despite the shortened campaign, Morgan was selected as an All-State offensive and defensive lineman for the second time in his career.  Can he go three-for-three on the All-State squad?  We wouldn’t bet against it.

Landon Reynolds, Sr, Priest River

Forgive us for overlooking what Reynolds did a year ago for the Spartans; it’s easy to be overshadowed when your fellow defensive end is a University of Idaho commit (Matyus McLain, who made last year’s list).  But the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Reynolds finished 2022 with 48 tackles, eight sacks and a fumble recovery.  Now that McLain is in Moscow, the spotlight is squarely focused on Reynolds.

Ryan Bingham, Sr, Sugar-Salem

Upon first glance, Bingham’s stats from a year ago seem good, but not great: 36 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.  But consider this: Bingham sat out of many second halves as the Diggers routinely built up large halftime leads and let their younger players gain reps.  Look beyond the stats: when you watch Bingham play, he definitely belongs on this list.

Arron McDaniel, Sr, West Side

McDaniel has been earning reps on the defensive line at West Side since his sophomore season, and that doesn’t happen often.  As a full-time starter as a junior in 2022, McDaniel finished with 51 tackles, six sacks and a safety, picking up All-State honors for the first time in his career.  At 6-feet even and 270 pounds, McDaniel has the size and skills to play at the next level.






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