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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.

Final stop – top wide receivers.

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 (all statistics are through the regular season):



Ian Duarte, Eagle, junior

Duarte was a candidate for our all-state preseason team just based on reputation alone. The transfer from California came to Eagle with four NCAA Division I offers, including Fresno State, which was ranked in the Top 25 this season. The 5-foot-8 speedster certainly lived up to hype with 69 receptions, 1,162 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

"Ian is electric," Eagle coach John Hartz said. "As a wide receiver, he keeps defenders guessing at all times. He also has different speeds that he uses."

Taylor Freeman, Rigby, senior

Freeman might have finished as the top pass catcher in the state had he not torn a tendon in his ankle and broken his arm. The former quarterbck has speed, hands, precise route running and a knack for understanding coverages, which all made him borderline unrecoverable. With an offer from Idaho State and a preferred walk-on at Utah State, Freeman still managed to haul in 54 catches for 914 yards and 12 touchdowns not fully healthy.

"One of the best players I have coached in my career," Rigby coach Armando Gonzalez said. "There are few players in Idaho who can match the playmaking ability of Taylor."

Quentin Riley, Meridian, senior

Talk about a reliable security blanket. When ninth grade quarterback Zeke Martinez was thrust into the starting role unexpectedly, he turned to the 6-2, 180-pounder. And when older brother Malakai Martinez returned from a shoulder injury, he went right back to Riley, who is about as sure-handed as they come and has the ability to take the top right off of a defense. He finished with 69 receptions for 1,009 yards and nine touchdowns.

"Quentin made great plays all year no matter the quarterback situation," senior quarterback Malakai Martinez said. "He was our go-to guy in every tight situation and he was a big reason for the success of Meridian."

Hunter Steacker, Rocky Mountain, senior

Steacker was a quarterback when the season began. The 6-1, 170-pounder was the 5A SIC Foothills Division co-offensive player of the year - at wideout. The transition was seamless with 995 yards of total offense, including 675 receiving and seven touchdowns, despite missing four games due to a separated shoulder. Steacker was both a possession and deep-threat receiver with the ability to run the ball out of the backfield. Boise State and Utah State has offers to him.

"His work ethic to learn the details of the position, having been a quarterback in the past set him apart from his peers," Rocky Mountain coach Chris Culig said.

Bradley Toth, Borah, senior

Came into this season with around 339 career yards and zero touchdowns. He finished the regular season as the 5A Southern Idaho Conference’s leading receiver with 55 catches for 794 yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Lions, who didn’t win a game last year, to the state playoffs.

"Creative route runner that can take the simplest pass to the house," Borah coach JQ Kenyon said. "The irreplaceable leader of the senior class and this football team."

Kody Walk, Capital, senior

With his skill set, there isn’t much Walk can’t do. He’s got size (6-4, 225 pounds), speed, athleticism, power and hands to name a few. Walk can either line up as both a traditional tight end with his hand in the mud or flex out to wide receiver. The result was 64 catches for 837 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He also has offers from Idaho, Idaho State and Eastern Washington.

"Kody has shown improvement in his consistency and confidence," Capital coach Todd Simis said. "Our opponents know we are going to him but he is still finding ways to get his touches.”"


Bruin Fleischmann, Century, senior

It wasn’t exactly the senior year Fleischmann envisioned. He missed multiple games due to injury, and the Diamondbacks struggled without him. It was their worst season in five years at just 2-6. But when the 6-4, 212-pound playmaker, who has the perfect combination of size, speed and power, was on the field, he showed why he’ll be playing D1 football at the Air Force Academy next fall. Fleischmann still had averaged nearly 100 yards per game in the five games he played.

"On top of his athleticism, he has a football mind. Very high football IQ," Century coach Logan Horrocks said. "He's able to deconstruct defenses, think about what they're going to do, and make adjustments throughout the game."

Trais Higgins, Nampa, senior

Talk about a kid coming out of nowhere. Higgins had no previous all-league honors and was barely mentioned in football previews. Yet, he had the most receiving yards (1,375) of any wideout in the state this fall (with 10 touchdowns to boot). Teams learned the hard way that playing man-to-man coverage was a mistake with his deadly combination of speed and sticky hands, averaging 18.6 yards per reception.

"Explosive athlete with elite speed who competes on every rep," Nampa coach Dan Holtry said. "All gas, no breaks."

Ja’Vonte King, Blackfoot, junior

There might not be a better athlete catching passes than this teenager, who arguably had the play of the year (one-handed 38-yard reception a la Odell Beckham Jr. style) against Snake River. But this wasn’t anything new as King leapt over defenders all year to the tune of 66 receptions for 1,183 yards and nine touchdowns.

"Ja'Vonte King has an exceptional catch radius with rare ability to high point footballs allowing him to win jump balls," Blackfoot coach Jerrod Ackley said.

Tyler Medaris, Middleton, senior

His future is in basketball, but Medaris could have a career in football if he wanted. He is 6-foot-7, 200 pounds with the perfect combination of speed, athleticism and hands. Despite missing two games due to injury, Medaris was still the leading wideout on a receiving corp that had two others go for more than 700 yards - with his 64 catches for 825 yards and nine touchdowns.

"Tyler is not only a great player but also a great leader," Middleton coach Bill Brock said.

Kenyon Sadiq, Skyline, junior

The Grizzlies had to replace 27 seniors this past season. Luckily, this 6-foot-3, 195-pounder wasn’t one of them. Sadiq is both physical and acrobatic - case in point, his leapfrogging catch over a defender against Pocatello in the state semifinals that hit the social-media waves. He set a school record with 19 touchdowns to go along with 79 receptions for 1,166 yards

"Kenyon’s the most dominant player in our area, and can score from anywhere on the field and has that chance whenever he touches the ball," Skyline coach Scott Berger said. 

Alden Waddington, Lakeland, senior

How many receivers do you know who played defensive end, too? This beastly 6-foot-5, 200-pounder did - and he won nearly every one-on-one matchup when opposing teams dared to leave him alone. But most of the time, he was keyed on. However, it didn’t slow him down that much with 512 yards and five touchdowns to earn a spot in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl

"Alden is an explosive, tall, physical receiver that has grown to be a go-to guy in our offense," Lakeland coach Tim Kiefer said. "He has the speed to take the top off a defense and the route running ability to be a possession guy."


Gatlin Bair, Kimberly, sophomore

He is pure speed - and his 56 receptions and 1,441 all-purpose yards, including 987 receiving, with 18 total touchdowns spelled dominant. His size (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) and impeccable hands are good, too, making him a nightmare to cover. Bair’s season is very reminiscent of Colston Loveland - and we all know how well that worked out.

"Gatlin is one of the best high school receivers that I have coached or coached against in my 24 years of coaching high school football," Kimberly coach Rich Bishop said. "Not only is he extremely athletic, fast and strong, the mental part of his game is just as good. He understands the game very well, and that makes him even more difficult to defend."

Colston Loveland, Gooding, senior

What’s there left to say? The four-star prospect, who is ranked as the ninth-best tight end in the country by, and a Michigan commit, backed all of his notoriety up - and then some - this season. Loveland had the numbers (1,320 all-purpose yards, 18 TDs) while being triple-teamed, no less. But it was his blocking ability on a team that averaged nearly 300 rushing yards per game that separated him from others.

"Colston is the ultimate leader and competitor for our team," Gooding coach Cameron Andersen said. "He never leaves the field, and holds his teammates accountable, all while commanding their respect. I wish everyone could see him off the field to know the little things that make him truly special."


Bryler Shurtliff, West Side, senior

Shurtliff had 34 catches for 602 yards and 11 touchdowns on a team that ran the ball more than 90% of the time. But his speed and athleticism was only part of it. He was one of the best blockers too for the Pirates, who racked up more than 3,000 and 50 touchdowns on the ground. The 6-3, 170-pounder will play for Idaho State next fall.

"Bryler does not really get his fair chance to showcase himself in our offense," West Side coach Tyson Moser said. "He is very unselfish and understands that we are a running team. He never complains about his lack of touches."

(Featured file photo by Loren Orr Photography)