NUMBER 35: JACOB DOMBROSKI – DIXIE
Hurricane Jake! Dombroski is a Flyer that flies around the field, making plays. He is a big dude that packs a punch. He explodes at the snap and causes chaos in the opposing backfield. He has mastered the tackle for loss. Dixie has been a perennial playoff contender for countless seasons. They lost many guys, but players like Dombroksi will limit their losses. He will captain their defense next season and become one of the best defenders in the Saint George area. 4A has some dudes at linebacker this year, and the scouts should take a closer look at some of these guys.
NUMBER 34: KUTLUR MATHESON – BEAVER
I am a sucker for small-town football. Growing up in a small town, I know first-hand there is nothing quite like it. This is why I love having their players represented on these lists. Matheson has every right to grace this list. He is as athletic and dominant as anyone of his peers. Matheson is a violent football player that is a coach’s dream. He works hard and is a great leader. He leads by example and sets a precedent day in and day out. He is Beaver football personified. Small-town kids don’t usually get a lot of recruiting love. Matheson should be the exception.
NUMBER 33: JACKSON BUEHLER – CORNER CANYON
Buehler is a bonafide linebacker with a high ceiling. He has excellent coaching resources and has the opportunity to play against the best of the best every snap. These two aspects combined create a perfect opportunity to continue a football career past high school. Buehler also has raw football talent which is beginning to form into something special. He will put it all together this season, and it will be something to behold. Everyone will be watching Corner Canyon football next season, and Buehler will get to showcase his talent on the grandest stage Utah has to offer. He will be a sought-after commodity by season’s end.
NUMBER 32: GAGE WATT – RIVERTON
Watt didn’t just make the list because I’m a giant Steelers fan, but because he has the ability to get tackles in bulk. He seems to be everywhere at once and will make you remember when he hits you. Riverton is losing many key guys to graduation, so Watt will have to play lights out this next season for the Silverwolves to make the second round of the playoffs. Watt has the ability to reach that level of play and can become that caliber of leader. Watt is a player that doesn’t seem to have gained much traction in the recruiting community. But he has the tangibles and the intangibles to be developed into a next-level linebacker. Go check him out next season.
NUMBER 31: JOHN AMONE – EAST
The Amone name is well-known at East high. There have been many players that have represented the name well. Amone is no exception. He is a fantastic athlete that reacts quickly to what he sees in the offensive backfield. He is a violent hitter and will make you pay for any hesitation. Amone has been training with some of the best coaches and is working hard to improve his skills. I believe that he will turn some heads next season and lead his defense to a great season.
NUMBER 30: GABE JOHNSON – OLYMPUS
Johnson could have certainly been on our defensive end list, because he is mostly utilized as a pass rusher. But, he can do much more than that. He is skilled at stopping the run and also an drop back on coverage from time to time. He is the first of many Olympus linebackers on this list. The Titans are talented and deep and will make some noise this coming season. Johnson’s brother recently signed with Oregon State, and I assume Gabe is wishing to follow in his brothers footsteps. He has PAC-12 potential but will have to have a big season. I am confident he is up for the task.
NUMBER 29: RYLAN QUINTANA – CORNER CANYON
There is a lot of pressure on the linebacker core of Corner Canyon this coming season. The core from last season was one of the best we have seen, and they have all signed to play at the next level. Quintana, Buehler, and Tate have giant shoes to fill. But, they have trained hard and have been patiently waiting for their moment, and this is it. Quintana is up for the task and will not disappoint. He is quick and smart and can make all the tackles. He flies around the field and is excellent in coverage. I cannot wait to watch him in real action. August cannot come fast enough.
NUMBER 28: MILES MORGAN – BRIGHTON
Here come the Bengals. Although their defense did lose Moala to Davis, their defense is still looking nasty. One reason for their hype going into the fall is their returning star linebacker Miles Morgan. Morgan had to fill the shoes of a Barton, which is never and easy task. Yet he succeeded at this task and still has room to improve. Morgan is a tackling maestro, that seems to have ten or more tackles week in and week out. Morgan can do it all and may just have the most tackles in the state of Utah by season’s end if he can stay healthy.
NUMBER 27: HUTCH FALE – PROVO
Look out for the Bulldogs defense next season. As an offensive coordinator it is a pick your poison type of situation when scheming against them. They have the best secondary in Utah, and guys like Fale in their linebacker core. Fale is a great all-around player that is someone you have to have two guys on if you want to try to run the ball. Fale is a guy that seems to be involved in every tackle. If a big play is being made on the field, he is involved. The best players always seems to be in the right place at the right time, and Fale has a knack for that. He hasn’t had a lot of attention by scouts quite yet, but I am confident that will change in the near future.
NUMBER 26: ROWEN WILLIAMS – CRIMSON CLIFFS
I might as well just put the entire Mustang defense on these lists. Williams, as well as his counterparts, is an excellent defender. He is multifaceted, which makes him extremely valuable. He can rush the passer as well as make tackles in space. Williams was a big part of the Mustangs’ recent success. For whatever reason, Crimson Cliffs do not seem to get the same recruiting attention as some of the other schools in the Washington County area, but guys like Williams should get some better looks. Crimson possibly returns to the state championship even with some heavy hitters joining the classification.
NUMBER 25: TYSON EGGETT – AMERICAN FORK
Eggett is the first of two Caveman backers to appear here. He is part of a young American Fork team that is coming for that 6A crown. It may not be this year but it’s coming soon. He is very well coached and puts in the hours working on his skills. He packs a punch at the line of scrimmage, but also is sharpening his skills in coverage. He has great tackling form and rarely misses. Eggett will be a name that you will hear more of soon, his stock is bound to rise as the Caveman start winning more and more games. He has been hitting the gym hard and is working to put on D1 level weight. The Caveman defense is going to be a problem.
NUMBER 24: JT WHITE – RIDGELINE
JT White is the first of two Riverhawk linebackers on this list. White is part of a young defense core for Ridgeline. He is quick and makes his decisions quickly. He is a tackling machine that has a relentless motor. He has the “it” factor that cannot be taught. The ability to play at 100% every play and every game is an attribute that coaches love. White is going to make an even greater leap this upcoming season. My guess is the Riverhawks are going to be a force to be reckoned with and a defense that you will not want to face on Friday nights.
NUMBER 23: BRIGHAM MORRISON – BOUNTIFUL
Bountiful prides itself on its stout defenses. Last season’s defense was jaw-dropping. If you love defense, you would have had the time of your life watching the Redhawks play. Morrison was a big reason no one could run the ball on them. He excelled at shedding blocks and made countless tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Morrison is one of the most underrated prospects because, to my knowledge, he has not had many offers. This needs to change quickly because he is that dude. He will be in the running for the tackle title in 5A for sure.
NUMBER 22: WILL WHEATLEY – GREEN CANYON
Wheatley probably should have been on the DE list but wants to play some linebacker next season. He is one of the best pass rushers in 4A and has a plethora of accolades. He is a problem for tackles and can cause game-altering turnovers. Wheatley has been a decorated prospect for years and his senior year will be his finale. If he hasn’t already, he needs to be looked at by recruiters. He has great size and has all of the intangibles. He has a great work ethic and plays to the whistle. Watch out for Wheatley to make some noise in his senior season.
NUMBER 21: WES OLSEN – OLYMPUS
The second Olympus linebacker to grace this list is Weston Olsen. The kid can ball. Olsen seemed to improve week to week last season. Every week he would find a new way to get better. He is a great leader and can read defenses effectively. He is versatile and can be plugged into almost any situation. One of the most incredible things I have heard about Olsen is how hard he works week in and week out. He wants to be the best and will work until he is. Olsen is set up nicely to be a next-level player. He has the resources and the talent to play D1 ball.
NUMBER 20: JACKSON FENTON – SKYRIDGE
According to the best linebacker coaches in the state. Fenton is likely to have a tremendous season. He suffered a serious injury last season which had many folks forget what kind of talent he has. This next season he will be on a mission to showcase his skills and he’ll fill the void of many graduated Skyridge star defenders. Fenton’s reputation will skyrocket every Friday night and will certainly catch the attention of scouts. Fenton will show up and show out on Utah’s biggest football stage.
NUMBER 19: DALLIN SWEAT – MANTI
Sweat is the one of the only player on this list to represent the smaller schools. He is a generational type player that has all of the tools to be one of the greatest backers to walk of the halls of Manti high. He is a tackling machine and has mastered the art of shedding blocks. He is slippery and fast, and will be in the backfield disrupting your play before the ball is even handed off. Sweat also is surrounded by many returning starters that are hungry for some postseason success. Watch out for the Templars this fall.
NUMBER 18: AVYN GORE – RIDGELINE
Ridgeline is going to be one of the most exciting teams in Utah for years to come. Last season was supposed to be their rebuild year after winning the state championship. But, instead, they made a deep playoff run. They are young and deep. One of the great emerging stars is linebacker Avyn Gore. Gore is an electric player and a difference maker. He can single-handily alter the outcome of games. He is smart and aggressive. He is a great teammate and leads by example. Not to mention he as an all-state head of hair. You’ll hear Gore’s name again.
NUMBER 17: DAX BENSON – MTN CREST
Mountain Crest surprised everyone last season and were one of the best turnaround teams of the year. Their defense was top tier thanks to Dax Benson. He is everything that you want in a linebacker. He is quick east to west and can reacts quickly to his reads. He is an all-around athlete that is excellent at every aspect of the position. He has been a starter for multiple seasons and has a lot of experience under his belt. Watch him reach potential DPOY levels this coming season.
NUMBER 16: TYSON MCBRIDE – BINGHAM
Bingham exceeded expectations last season. But, this next season they are losing many key players to graduation so players like McBride will have to step up big time for the Miners to find the same level of success. After analyzing some film and talking some coaches I feel McBride is fit for the task. He has been training hard and has been receiving the best coaching available. It will translate to the field and he will become a star player for the Miners. The offers are going to to start pouring in and he will have some options as to which college to suit up for.
NUMBER 15: FOTU MOEAI – SKYRIDGE
Moeai is a sleeper to be one of the best linebackers in the state. Because he played with one of the best linebacker cores in recent memory at Skyridge last season, he was overshadowed by players that are now signed to play D1 ball. In August, he will have his chance to shine and show the rest of the state what he can do. My projection is that his stock will rise through the duration of the season more than any other player. He has all of the tools to take over games and completely shut down an opponents run game.
NUMBER 14: RYAN TALO – KEARNS
Talo is one of the most underrated prospects in the state. Because he plays for a Kearns team that did not have a lot of success last season, he generally is left out of discussions of the best backers in the state. That should change. Talo is a menace on the football field and is a sack artist. He has excellent pass rushing technique and can accelerate off the ball quickly. Recently, he has been working on his coverage skills and can make a monumental leap forward in his senior year. Talo is a player that needs to be looked at more carefully by recruiters. He is very under-looked.
NUMBER 13: LUKE BRYANT – OLYMPUS
Bryant is technically a safety, but plays a lot like a linebacker and is getting recruited by some schools as a linebacker. As you have seen by now, Olympus has a surplus of star linebackers. The Titans peaked at the right time last season, and were a young. This next year they will be experienced and talented. Bryant could very well lead the Titans to a semifinal showing in November. He has been looked at by some in state colleges like Utah State, but I am sure he will have even more options by season’s end.
NUMBER 12: MAXIMOS EDWARDS – AMERICAN FORK
If you haven’t heard about Edwards yet you will. Edwards is a fantastic talent and will lead the American Fork defense deep into the postseason next season. He is great at reacting quickly and reading defenses. He is extremely versatile and has a great football IQ. But perhaps his greatest attribute of all is his ability to hit with power. I’m not sure there is a backer in the state that can hit with more power than Edwards. He is a Swiss Army knife kind of player that can make plays at all three levels of the game. He will most certainly be playing collegiate ball at some level.
NUMBER 11: MCKAY WRIGHT – CRIMSON CLIFFS
The Saint George area has some dawgs at linebacker. Wright is a perfect example of why scouts should take I-15 south down to Washington County and check out some of these guys. It is safe to say that Crimson Cliffs is going to have one of the best defenses in the state. Wright can really do it all at the linebacker position. He can rush the passer and drop back in coverage. He was a key reason the Mustangs were able to make a leap last year and punch a ticket to the state championship. He will captain the squad again and will most likely return to the big game.