DITR – Joshua Woodberry

Joshua Woodberry is a 6’0″, 205 pound linebacker for the Gallatin High School Raptors in Bozeman, Montana. Joshua primarily lines up outside more than inside, and shows the ability to cover the field from inside, all the way to the sideline. Watching his highlights, Joshua seems to have a magnet for the ballcarrier, as he led the state in 2A football in tackles last season before statistical issues took him out of the top spot late in the season. So far in 2023, Joshua is once again leading the state in 2A in tackles with 50 through four games, paired with a couple sacks despite not primarily rushing the quarterback, and two forced fumbles. The Raptors have outscored opponents 161-61 in their four contests so far in 2023, and Joshua is a main contributor to this. MaxPreps also shows that Joshua has recorded 5 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown this season, along with a 2-yard carry. For his efforts last season, Joshua was awarded with a spot on the All-State list at linebacker for Montana.

Joshua currently does not hold any offers, but that should change soon as he possesses the talent to play at the next level. He has gone on visits to the University of Montana, Montana State University, and Montana Tech thus far. Off the field, Joshua prides himself in his academics. He holds a 3.94 unweighted GPA, 4.0 weighted, and scored a 34 on the ACT. These accomplishments in the classroom will impact his football recruiting in a positive way.

I recently had the chance to interview Joshua:

Why and at what age did you start playing football?

“I started playing football in 5th grade with lions club. I’ve always wanted to play after hearing stories of my dad playing for MSU (Montana State University) in college.”

Have you always played your current position, or did you play a different position growing up?

“I played defensive end growing up through middle school, although I always wanted to be a linebacker. Freshman year I got moved to linebacker and I’ve played there ever since.” 

What sets you apart from everyone else on the field?

“What sets me apart as a player is my competitiveness and drive to be in every on every tackle.”

What is your favorite accomplishment so far in your football career?

“My favorite accomplishment as a player was earning first team all state linebacker.”

What is your favorite memory of playing football so far?

“My favorite memory playing football was causing a fumble at the end of the game against CM Russell high school and then watching us score the next play to win the game. It was just a really great team win and a statement for our program beating a team with a lot of great players.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced on the field?

“My greatest challenge on the field was playing through a high ankle sprain last season for the entirety of playoffs. It was pretty painful and made it tricky to make plays and tackles. It also required some mental toughness to not get discouraged when it inhibited my performance.”

Is there a certain player you try to model your game after?

“I try to model my game after Luke Kuechly. I love to watch film and know what the other team is going to run and then make the play. I want to play with his level of confidence and downhill speed to the ball.”

How do you stay physically fit outside of football?

“I lift with the football team year round every weekday and am constantly doing agility and speed work in the offseason.”

What are you hoping to achieve this season?

“I’m hoping to win state with my team and maybe get all-state against along the way.”

What is your end goal for your football career?

“I want to play football for however long I can. Preferably D1 ball in college and maybe pro after that.”

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned playing football?

“The most important lesson I’ve learned from football is that hard work pays off and I should never be scared to work hard in anything I do in life.”

How do you prepare for big games?

“For big games, I watch even more film than normal prior to the game and focus on playing fast and physical.”

What type of play style do you have?

“I play fast and downhill to stop the run, am extremely quick sideline to sideline and I also play smart. I make sure I know all of the checks and coverages and run fits on the defense and the philosophy behind each so when game time comes the game comes to me slow so I can make plays.”

Lastly, who is the biggest role model in your life?

“My dad is the biggest role model in my life. He is the example of hard work and dedication that I hope to emulate. He walked on at Montana State and won a starting spot at linebacker despite being undersized. The older I get, the more I realize just how hard that is to do and the level of effort he gave to get there and it drives me to do the same in my own life.”