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Montana standout linebacker Dante Olson totes the ball during a soggy spring practice at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

MISSOULA — Montana senior linebacker Dante Olson is once again a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award after he finished third in voting last season.

Olson was one of 25 players named by STATS on Thursday to the preseason watch list for the award, which is presented annually to the defensive player of the year in the FCS. He's the lone player from the Big Sky Conference to appear on the list.

The 6-foot-3, 237-pound Olson now has seven preseason accolades. He was the lone FCS defender to make the Butkus Award preseason watch list and he was selected as the Big Sky Conference preseason defensive MVP.

Olson was also named an FCS preseason All-American by STATS, Athlon Sports and HERO Sports. He was selected to the College Football America Yearbook FCS Preseason Starting Lineup.

From Medford, Oregon, Olson had a breakout junior season in 2018, earning seven All-America honors. He shattered the school record with 151 total tackles for a per-game average of 13.7, the highest in all of Division I. Olson was second in the conference with three forced fumbles, sixth with six sacks, ninth with 11 tackles for loss.

Montana will face one player this season who was named to the Buchanan Award preseason watch list: South Dakota senior defensive end Darin Greenfield. The Griz open the season at South Dakota on Aug. 31.

Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at Frank.Gogola@406mtsports.com.

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