FCS coaches name Olson a First-Team All-American

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In the Chinese zodiac, the number five is associated with people who are hard-working and courageous, among other noble characteristics.

Five then seems like a fitting number for Dante Olson.

On Friday (the fifth day of the week), the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) named Olson to its First-Team All-America squad. It is the record-breaking linebacker’s fifth All-America honor following his historic junior season, and he now becomes just the fifth Grizzly ever to earn five All-America distinctions in a single year, joining other five-timers Dave Dickenson (1995), Thatcher Szalay (2001), Trey Young (2002), and Trumaine Johnson (2010 & 2011).

It’s worth noting that only one other player on that list (Johnson) was a five-time All-American as a junior, and he’s gone on to be one of the highest paid cornerbacks in the NFL.

Olson is one of only four players from the Big Sky Conference to earn a place on the two-team AFCA FCS All-America squad and is the only defensive player in the league to make the cut.

Olson has now been named a First-Team All-American by every major FCS organization this year and has collected a total of nine major post-season honors. He will find out if he is to receive the biggest post-season honor on Jan. 4, when he travels to Frisco, Texas, for the STATS FCS Awards Banquet as a top-three finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award for the Defensive Player of the Year.

His tally of 151 total tackles on the season shattered the Montana school record of 130, and was 26-shy of breaking the Big Sky record of 176, despite not advancing to the playoffs.

Olson posted double-digit tackles in nine of Montana’s 11 games this season, including a single-game high of 24 at Cal Poly, 19 against Portland State, 18 against Montana State, and 16 against Drake. His 24 against the Mustangs are the second-most in UM school history behind Tim Hauck’s 25 tackles posted against Fresno State in 1989.

In addition to his 151 tackles, Olson also tallied 11 tackles for loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, five quarterback hurries and three pass breakups as a First-Team All-Big Sky selection. For his efforts, he was also named the Grizzlies’ Steve Carlson Team MVP and the team’s Defensive MVP at the post-season awards banquet in November.

Montana now has the second-most all-time AFCA All-Americans of any current FCS school with 29 selections by 28 players. Delaware tops the list with 32 selections by 29 players, followed by Montana then North Dakota State (29/26), Eastern Kentucky (27/25), Eastern Washington (27/23), Weber State (22/21), Northern Iowa (22/19), Grambling State (21/20), Lehigh (20/20), Furman (20/19), South Carolina State (20/18), New Hampshire (20/17), James Madison (19/19), North Dakota (19/17), Portland State (18/17), Eastern Illinois (18/16), Youngstown State (18/16), South Dakota State (18/14), Western Illinois (17/16), Northern Colorado (17/14), Montana State (16/16), Towson (16/16), Cal Poly (16/14), McNeese (16/14), UC Davis (16/14), Abilene Christian (15/14), Stephen F. Austin (15/14) and Tennessee State (15/14).

Olson’s 2018 Post-Season Honors:

* STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award Finalist

* AFCA First-Team All-American

* HERO Sports First-Team All-American

* STATS FCS First-Team All-American

* Walter Camp Foundation All-American

* Associated Press First-Team All-American

* First-Team All-Big Sky

* Steve Carlson Team MVP

* Grizzly Defensive MVP

2018 AFCA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches’ All-America Team -

First Team


Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

WR *Kelvin McKnight 5-8 186 Sr. Samford Chris Hatcher Bradenton, Fla. (Manatee)

WR *Keelan Doss 6-3 209 Sr. UC Davis Dan Hawkins Alameda, Calif. (Alameda)

TE Donald Parham 6-8 240 Sr. Stetson Roger Hughes Lakeland, Fla. (Lake Gibson)

OL ^Daniel Cooney 6-8 315 R-Sr. San Diego Dale Lindsey Western Springs, Ill. (Fenwick)

OL B.J. Autry 6-5 340 R-Sr. Jacksonville State John Grass Eight Mile, Ala. (Blount)

OL Matt Pyke 6-2 302 R-Sr. East Tennessee State Randy Sanders Clinton, Tenn. (Anderson County)

OL Tanner Volson 6-4 306 Sr. North Dakota State Chris Klieman Balfour, N.D. (Drake-Anamoose)

OL CJ Collins 6-3 255 Gr. Kennesaw State Brian Bohannon Woodstock, Ga. (Sequoyah)

QB *Devlin Hodges 6-1 210 Sr. Samford Chris Hatcher Kimberly, Ala. (Mortimer-Jordan)

RB James Holland Jr. 5-9 210 Sr. Colgate Dan Hunt Royal Palm Beach, Fla. (The Kings Academy)

RB AJ Hines 5-11 225 Jr. Duquesne Jerry Schmitt Wilson, N.C. (Fike)


Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

DL Derick Roberson 6-4 250 R-Sr. Sam Houston State K.C. Keeler San Antonio, Texas (Brennan)

DL Nick Wheeler 6-2 255 Jr. Colgate Dan Hunt St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College)

DL Isaiah Mack 6-3 305 Sr. Chattanooga Tom Arth Tunnel Hill, Ga. (Northwest Whitfield)

DL Greg Menard 6-2 240 R-Sr. North Dakota State Chris Klieman Lakeville, Minn. (North)

LB BJ Blunt 6-1 220 Sr. McNeese Lance Guidry New Orleans, La. (McDonough)

LB T.J. Holl 6-1 230 Sr. Colgate Dan Hunt Cranberry Township, Pa. (Seneca Valley)

LB Dante Olson 6-3 237 R-Jr. Montana Bobby Hauck Medford, Ore. (Cascade Christian)

DB Marlon Bridges 6-0 200 R-Jr. Jacksonville State John Grass Lanett, Ala. (Lanett)

DB Jimmy Moreland 5-11 175 R-Sr. James Madison Mike Houston Royal Palm Beach, Fla. (Royal Palm Beach)

DB Isiah Swann 6-0 190 Jr. Dartmouth Buddy Teevens Queen Creek, Ariz. (Chandler)

DB Jordan Brown 6-1 200 Sr. South Dakota State John Stiegelmeier Scottsdale, Ariz. (Paradise Valley)


Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

P Chris Faddoul 6-1 182 So. Florida A&M Willie Simmons Wesley Chapel, Fla. (Wiregrass Ranch)

PK Roldan Alcobendas 6-0 180 Sr. Eastern Washington Aaron Best Camas, Wash. (Camas)

AP Shane Simpson 5-9 200 R-Jr. Towson Rob Ambrose Easton, Pa. (Easton)

*-2017 AFCA All-American

^2016-17 AFCA All-American

Second Team


Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

WR Michael Bandy 5-11 190 Jr. San Diego Dale Lindsey La Mirada, Calif. (Servite)

WR Reggie White Jr. 6-3 210 Sr. Monmouth (N.J.) Ke vin Callahan Randallstown, Md. (Milford Mill Academy)

TE Charles Scarff 6-6 270 R-Sr. Delaware Danny Rocco Lancaster, Pa. (Catholic)

OL Garrett Bowery 6-2 303 Sr. Lamar Mike Schultz Union Grove, Texas (Union Grove)

OL CJ Toogood 6-2 293 Sr. Elon Curt Cignetti Holly Springs, N.C. (Holly Springs)

OL Iosua Opeta 6-4 305 Sr. Weber State Jay Hill Stansbury Park, Utah (Stansbury)

OL Matt Kaskey 6-7 325 Sr. Dartmouth Buddy Teevens Winnetka, Ill. (New Trier)

OL Ryan Wetzel 6-4 285 Gr. Monmouth (N.J.) Kevin Callahan Freehold, N.J. (Colts Neck)

QB Easton Stick 6-2 221 Sr. North Dakota State Chris Klieman Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Prep)

RB James Robinson 5-10 220 Jr. Illinois State Brock Spack Rockford, Ill. (Lutheran)

RB Darnell Holland 5-10 195 Sr. Kennesaw State Brian Bohannon Bowdon, Ga. (Bowdon)


Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

DL Nasir Player 6-5 271 R-Jr. East Tennessee State Randy Sanders Columbia, S.C. (Ridge View)

DL *Darryl Johnson Jr. 6-5 232 R-Jr. North Carolina A&T Sam Washington Kingsland, Ga. (Camden County)

DL Sterling Shippy 6-1 300 Sr. Alcorn State Fred McNair Miami, Fla. (Coral Reef)

DL Rocco Di Leo 6-3 285 Sr. Dartmouth Buddy Teevens Elmhurst, Ill. (St. Ignatius Prep)

LB Zach Hall 6-0 230 Jr. Southeast Missouri Tom Matukewicz Louisville, Ky. (Male)

LB Troy Reeder 6-3 245 R-Sr. Delaware Danny Rocco Hockessin, Del. (Salesianum)

LB Jabril Cox 6-3 231 So. North Dakota State Chris Klieman Kansas City, Mo. (Raytown South)

DB Davon Jernigan 6-0 208 Sr. Lamar Mike Schultz Navasota, Texas (Navasota)

DB Mac McCain III 5-11 173 R-So. North Carolina A&T Sam Washington Greensboro, N.C. (Dudley)

DB Nasir Adderley 6-0 200 Sr. Delaware Danny Rocco Philadelphia, Pa. (Great Valley)

DB Ju’Anthony Parker 5-11 165 Jr. Prairie View A&M Eric Dooley Dallas, Texas (South Oak Cliff)


Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

P Alex Pechin 6-0 200 Sr. Bucknell Joe Susan Kennett Square, Pa. (Unionville)

PK Aidan O’Neill 6-1 199 Jr. Towson Rob Ambrose New Paltz, N.Y. (New Paltz)

AP Juwan Petit-Frere 5-7 170 Jr. Southeastern Louisiana Frank Scelfo Orlando, Fla. (Freedom)

*-2017 AFCA All-American

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