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After rolling out a stream of our high school football team rankings, SBLive Idaho now turns its attention to the best high-profile positional players in the state of Idaho.

First stop – top quarterbacks.

The main criteria for these top players are statistics and coaches recommendation to SBLive Idaho correspondent Brandon Walton. Players are divided up by classification, and listed in alphabetical order:



Tiger Adolpho, Rigby, senior

Adolpho is arguably the best overall quarterback in the state right now, closing in on 2,000 passing yards. But he can take off and run, if needed, with almost 500 yards on the ground. The 6-2 194-pounder, who started his high school career in Hawaii, is committed to Weber State.

"Confident, fast learner, leader, rocket arm, great teammate," Rigby coach Armando Gonzalez said. "Can do it all, run and pass. Pick your poison."

Jack Benson, Eagle, senior

Eagle coach John Hartz knew he was getting a pretty prolific passer with the Arizona transfer. He was fourth in passing in the entire state last year. But Hartz didn’t realize just how well he runs, too. He's averaged 9.4 yards per carry, and thrown for nearly 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns. D1 interest from Northern Illinois.

"He throws the ball with precision and has a smooth release. He has grown into being a great dual threat quarterback," Hartz said. "His speed definitely causes problems for our opponents. He has worked hard to learn our system, and our team keeps getting better because of that."

Max Clark, Capital, senior

At 5-11, 170 pounds, Clark is a bit undersized, but makes up for it in spades with his efficiency. He’s completing 75 percent of his passes right now and is the 5A classification’s leading passer with almost 2,800 yards and 29 TDs - a year after coming back from a season-ending broken collarbone injury.

"Max throws a very accurate ball that is almost always catchable,”"Capital coach Todd Simis said. "He puts the pigskin in the spot where the offensive player has an opportunity to make the play."

Tao Johnson, Thunder Ridge, senior

Johnson’s future is probably not going to be at quarterback. But that’s what he played this year and is rated the second-best overall 2022 prospect in Idaho, so he has to be on this list. Johnson can throw the football, but it’s his running ability that has garnered him national attention, including Washington and Utah;

Malakai Martinez, Meridian, senior

Don't let the lack of statistics fool you, Martinez can really sling it. He has been hampered by a shoulder injury, suffered in the season opener. But he's been a full-go the past month with more than 650 yards and 10 touchdown passes during that stretch. Martinez is a prolific dual threat with an arm that produces bullets.

Jace McKarcher, Lewiston, senior

McKarcher was a starting wide receiver last year. So his transition under center has been remarkable. He’s turned into an excellent read-option quarterback that opposing teams haven’t quite been able to figure out. McKarcher has 2,364 yards and 30 TDs of total offense, with 1,440 and 11 scores coming through the air. 

"He understands the offense and is able to run it very effectively," Lewiston coach Matt Pancheri said. "Jace is a great athlete, teammate and student. He has been a joy to coach."

Tegan Sweaney, Rocky Mountain, junior

Sweaney started out the season as a runner, but as the season has progressed, he’s really developed into a proficient passer. He’s completing 67% of his throws, for more than 1,800 yards and 19 TDs, giving the Grizzlies a real vertical threat. It’s something they really haven’t had over the past few years.

"Tegan has a live arm, can push the ball down the field vertically, as well as fit balls into tight windows," Rocky Mountain coach Chris Culig said. "He has the athleticism and instincts to make him dangerous with his legs as well, moving within the pocket, escaping the pass rush, and carrying the ball in the run game."

Dawson Wahl, Mountain View, junior

The Mavericks are known for placing high-level quarterbacks into college (five of them) - and Wahl looks well on his way to being the sixth. He has prototypical size at 6-3, 190 pounds, and a big arm to boot (almost 1,600 yards and 16 TDs). Wahl is also as efficient as they come with a 65% completion rate with just one pick.

"He never gets too rattled," Mountain View coach Judd Benedick said. "He continues to get better and better each week as the season progresses."

Jack Whitmer, Highland, senior

At this time last year, Whitmer was standing on the sideline holding a clipboard after a rocky early signal-caller stint. What a difference a year makes. Whitmer has turned himself into quite the versatile quarterback with 1,762 yards, 13 TDs, and is also the team’s leading rusher with almost 733 yards and 13 TDs.

"Jack is a linebacker playing quarterback, and runs like a fullback," Highland coach Gino Mariani said. "He has been steadily improving throughout the season at quarterback. He is a great runner and a tough kid who can take a hit and dish one out."


Ky McClure, Middleton, senior

It’s pretty surprising that no schools have jumped on this standout yet. He’s got the size (6-3, 210). And he’s got a big, strong, accurate arm with 3,313 yards, which is among the national leaders, including 25 touchdowns and a 70% completion rate. McClure is also quite mobile with 571 yards and 12 TDs

"Ky is a great kid who has worked hard at his craft and has developed into an outstanding quarterback," Middleton coach Bill Brock said. "Ky has had a monster year to date and we are excited to see what the future holds for him."

Parker Pettit, Sandpoint, junior

Pettit has size (6-1, 197) and upside. He’s already been invited to attend several games, including at perennial FBS power Montana just a few weeks ago. Pettit also has three D1 Ivy League schools looking at him. It’s easy to see why. He’s a dual threat that can beat opposing teams with his accurate arm or with his legs.

"He is more of a running back when he runs versus a quarterback that keeps the defense honest," Sandpoint coach Ryan Knowles said. "Parker is one of the hardest workers on the team. He is all in, all day, every day."

Caden Young, Emmett, senior

This 6-foot-3, 180-pound all-state performer is primarily a runner - and ranks second in the 4A classification with 1,521 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. But he can still beat teams with his arm (1,165 yards, 14 TDs) - and is a superb all-around athlete. Received a D1 offer from Idaho.

"He’s the best football player in the state of Idaho, and it’s hands down," Emmett coach Rich Hargitt said. "I’ve tried to tell people. Some people believe it. Some people don’t. But hopefully they saw it."


Kurtis Adkinson, Gooding, senior

On a team with one of the most highly recruited players in Idaho history (Colston Loveland), Adkinson stands out as well, and for good reason. He’s a physical specimen at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, and throws it (1,426 yards, 19 TDs) and runs it (946 yards, 12 TDs) with equal effectiveness.

"One of my favorite things is to watch Kurtis run over a defender, and then smile on the way back to the huddle," Gooding coach Cameron Andersen said. "You don't see this from a quarterback very often."

Kaimen Peebles, South Fremont, senior

The Cougars have been pretty up and down this season, but Peebles is keeping them afloat right now. The 6-2, 195-pounder is a true dual-threat quarterback (1,700 passing yards, 16 TDs; 418 rushing yards, 12 TDs) who has still put together a pretty solid season despite some shaky offensive line play up front.

"There's no question he's the leader of our team," South Fremont coach Chad Hill said. "He makes more decisions on the field than any player I've coached and he takes responsibility for every one of those decisions."

Brett Spencer, Weiser, senior

Spencer is an athlete with the ability to run by or run through defenders who attempt to get in his way. But he can step back and hit the short underneath and deep routes down the field if called upon. It’s why the University of Idaho has already offered him - at quarterback.

"Brett is extremely talented," Weiser coach Tom Harrison said. "He can throw the ball a long ways. He is accurate and has developed into a fine leader of our team..He is agile, fast and very tough."

(Featured file photo by Loren Orr Photography)