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Montana linebacker Dante Olson nearly intercepts a pass in the Grizzlies' 35-16 win over Weber State on Nov. 9 in Missoula. Olson is a top-3 finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award for the second consecutive season.

MISSOULA — Montana linebacker Dante Olson is heading back to Frisco, Texas.

The senior from Medford, Oregon, is a top-3 finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award for the second consecutive season. He finished third last year in voting for the award that's presented to the FCS defensive player of the year.

Olson was selected the Big Sky Conference co-defensive player of the year. He leads the FCS with a school-record 165 tackles in addition to 11 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.

Olson is Montana's 13th finalist in 25 years of the award being handed out. He's the fourth Grizzly to be a finalist in back-to-back years, joining Kroy Biermann, Trumaine Johnson and Jordan Tripp. Biermann won in 2007, and Tyrone Holmes won in 2015.

The two other finalists are James Madison defensive end Ron'Dell Carter and Nicholls defensive end Sully Laiche.

The winner will be announced on Jan. 10 at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet the day before the national championship game.

Two other Big Sky players were among the 26 finalists. Portland State defensive back Anthony Adams finished 12th, and Montana State defensive end Bryce Sterk finished in a tie for 14th.

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Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at frank.gogola@missoulian.com.


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