MISSOULA – He became a starter for the first time this year, and the Montana Grizzlies knew he could become a star.
Turns out, Dante Olson is a record-breaking national player of the year candidate.
Olson’s incredible breakout season now has a spot in the Montana record books. Olson made 10 tackles last week at Idaho. The junior linebacker from Medford, Ore., has now totaled 133 tackles, a new single-season record for the Grizzlies. He passed the mark once held by Tim Hauck and Colt Anderson, and then by Kendrick Van Ackeren the past three years. And Olson did it with a game to spare.
Olson is a natural on the field, but he’s always uncomfortable when asked to talk about himself. We did get him to admit it’s a special accomplishment.
“You know, it’s awesome. The school and football program has some pretty awesome history,” said Olson. “So it means a lot to me, but it’s also one of those things that I can’t think about.”
“He’s one of the hardest-working people I know,” said fellow Griz linebacker Josh Buss. “He’s dedicated. He loves the game of football. He always wants to get better and improve. I think that shows on Saturday, obviously.”
Olson was leading all of Division I in tackles for most of the season. His pace has slowed a bit lately. He now trails Zach Hall of Southeast Missouri State by one tackle for the FCS lead.
Olson will look to wrap up plenty of Bobcats this weekend when Montana and Montana State collide for the 118th time. The Griz and Cats kick off at noon on Saturday in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.