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Montana Grizzlies’ Dante Olson honored for work on and off field

Posted: 2:37 PM, Jul 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-18 17:53:30-04

(Editor’s note: Story by Montana Sports Information)

MISSOULA — Montana’s preseason Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year Dante Olson has added two more accolades to his resume in the days following the league’s football kickoff event in Spokane. One for his work on the field, and one for his work in the community.

Earlier this week, Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) named Olson to its list of nominees for the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, an annual award given to college football players for the impact they make off the field.

The senior linebacker was also named to the College Football America Yearbook’s 2019 FCS Preseason Starting Lineup, the CFAY’s version of a preseason All-America team, the publication announced this week.

Olson is one of 137 student-athletes with inspiring stories of community service who were nominated by their respective institutions for the 2019 AFCA Good Works Team, and one of just two players from the Big Sky Conference to be nominated.

He was selected for his dedication to community involvement, including his promotion and involvement in Montana’s Be the Match marrow drive and his continued mentorship of a class of underprivileged kids in Northern California, encouraging them to pursue a college education.

Established in 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team continues to be one of the most coveted community service awards in college football.

From the 137 nominees, the final roster of 23 award recipients will be announced in September, bringing together 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision; 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); and one honorary head coach.

To be considered for a spot on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.

“To be named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is no small feat and goes above and beyond sportsmanship and leadership in the classroom or on the field,” said Tim Tebow, two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner and 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member.

“These student-athletes believe in the power of giving back and enriching the lives of others, while also helping to shape the lives of future young athletes. Each year, I am struck by the caliber of these nominees and humbled to be a part of telling their stories.”

The final 22-member team and honorary coach is selected by a voting panel consisting of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and prominent media members who look for both their dedication to giving back and the embodiment of true leadership on and off the football field.

After the final team members are announced on September 12, 2019, fans can vote for this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain through the official page on ESPN.com.

A full list of the 2019 Good Works Team nominees can be found below.

Olson is also one of only three Big Sky players to be named to the CFAY FCS Preseason Starting Lineup.

Olson was named to the list with UC Davis’ Jake Maier (the Big Sky Preseason Offensive MVP) and Idaho offensive lineman Noah Johnson.

Seven 2018 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) First-Team All-Americans are on the CFA Starting Lineup. They include Duquesne RB AJ Hines, Colgate DL Nick Wheeler, Dante Olson, Jacksonville State DB Marlon Bridges, Dartmouth DB Isiah Swann, Florida A&M P Chris Faddoul and Towson’s Shane Simpson, selected as an all-purpose player.

The 2019 College Football America Yearbook features more than 930 college football teams from the United States and Canada in more than 250 striking, full-color pages. That includes every team from the NCAA (FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III), NAIA, NJCAA, CCCAA and U Sports (Canada).

The College Football America Yearbook also placed Montana at No. 23 in its annual Preseason FCS Top-30 rankings, alongside five other 2019 Grizzly opponents.

College Football America Yearbook’s 2019 FCS Preseason Starting Lineup

Offense
Pos. Name School
QB JAKE MAIER UC Davis
RB A.J. HINES Duquesne
RB JAMES ROBINSON Illinois State
WR MICHAEL BANDY San Diego
WR JOSH PEARSON Jacksonville State
TE MATTHEW GONZALEZ Robert Morris (PA)
OL ZACK JOHNSON North Dakota State
OL JUSTUS BASINGER Wofford
OL NOAH JOHNSON Idaho
OL MARCUS PETTIFORD North Carolina A&T
C BRANDON FLOORES Incarnate Word

Defense
Pos. Name School
DL NICK WHEELER Colgate
DL MAURICE JACKSON Richmond
DL CHRIS TERRELL Central Arkansas
LB DANTE OLSON Montana
LB CHRISTIAN ROZEBOOM South Dakota State
LB ZACH HALL Southeast Missouri
LB JABRIL COX North Dakota State
DB MARLON BRIDGES Jacksonville State
DB ISIAH SWANN Dartmouth
DB MANNY PATTERSON Maine
DB WILL WARNER Drake

Specialists
Pos. Name School
PK AIDAN O’NEILL Towson
P CHRIS FADDOUL Florida A&M
AP SHANE SIMPSON Towson
KR JEAN CONSTANT Stony Brook
PR D’ANGELO AMOS James Madison

2019 College Football America FCS Preseason Top 30

1. North Dakota State
2. South Dakota State
3. James Madison
4. Eastern Washington
5. Jacksonville State
6. UC Davis
7. Towson
8. Weber State
9. Maine
10. Wofford
11. Nicholls State
12. Colgate
13. Northern Iowa
14. Montana State
15. Furman
16. Delaware
17. Southeast Missouri
18. North Carolina A&T
19. Kennesaw State
20. Illinois State
21. Sam Houston State
22. Elon
23. Montana
24. San Diego
25. East Tennessee State
26. Incarnate Word
27. Indiana State
28. Duquesne
29. Monmouth (NJ)
30. Eastern Kentucky

2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team nominees:

Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)

Kyle Williams, Arizona State University
Derrick Brown, Auburn University
Owen Rogers, Baylor University
Kole Bailey, Boise State University
Tanner Karafa, Boston College
Gabe Skrobot, Bowling Green State University
Uriah Leiataua, BYU
Adam Prentice, Colorado State University
Koby Quansah, Duke University
Alex Turner, East Carolina University
James Morgan, Florida International University
DeCalon Brooks, Florida State University
Jahaziel Lee, Georgia Tech
Nick Westbrook, Indiana University
Ray Lima, Iowa State University
Denzel Goolsby, Kansas State University
Matt Bahr, Kent State University
Blake Ferguson, LSU
Brenden Knox, Marshall University
Jack Sorenson, Miami University
Joe Bachie, Michigan State University
Crews Holt, Middle Tennessee State University
Kobe Jones, Mississippi State University
James Smith-Williams, NC State University
Joe Gaziano, Northwestern University
Jordan Fuller, Ohio State University
Landon Wolf, Oklahoma State University
Mufu Taiwo, Old Dominion University
Blake Gillikin, Penn State University
Austin Trammell, Rice University
Demerick Gary, SMU
Connor Wedington, Stanford University
Sam Heckel, Syracuse University
Kellton Hollins, TCU
Zack Mesday, Temple University
Keeath Magee II, Texas A&M University
LeDarrius Harris, Texas State University
Travis Bruffy, Texas Tech University
Jordan Johnson, UCF
Isaiah Sanders, United States Air Force Academy
Matt Otwinowski, University at Buffalo
John Lako, University of Akron
Chris Owens, University of Alabama
T.J. Smith, University of Arkansas
Marcel Dancy, University of California, Berkeley
Tyrie Cleveland, University of Florida
Jake Fromm, University of Georgia
Eugene Ford, University of Hawaii
D’Eriq King, University of Houston
Bobby Walker, University of Illinois
Nate Stanley, University of Iowa
Bryce Torneden, University of Kansas
Landon Young, University of Kentucky
Blanton Creque, University of Louisville
Patrick Taylor, University of Memphis
Tru Wilson, University of Michigan
Seth Green, University of Minnesota
Mac Brown, University of Mississippi
Ben Stille, University of Nebraska
Lucas Weber, University of Nevada
Tyriq Harris, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Jalen Elliott, University of Notre Dame
Kenneth Murray Jr., University of Oklahoma
Tre Tipton, University of Pittsburgh
Brian Ankerson, University of South Alabama
Spencer Eason-Riddle, University of South Carolina
Kirk Livingstone, University of South Florida
Trey Smith, University of Tennessee
Bryce Harris, University of Toledo
Terrell Burgess, University of Utah
Bryce Hall, University of Virginia
Chris Orr, University of Wisconsin
Darren Woods Jr., UNLV
Michael Pittman Jr., USC
Dominik Eberle, Utah State University
Cody Markel, Vanderbilt University
Reese Donahue, West Virginia University
Justin Tranquill, Western Michigan University

Combined Divisions (FCS, D-II, D-III & NAIA)

Carl Thompson, Alabama State University
Clay Shreve, Ashland University
Jeremiah Oatsvall, Austin Peay State University
Hayden Murphy, Berry College
Danny Munoz, Bethel University (Minn.)
Peyton Bailey, Briar Cliff University
David Barnett, Capital University
Antonio Wimbush, Carson-Newman University
Brady Berger, Catholic University
Carter Terpstra, Central College
Dan List, Colorado State University-Pueblo
Brandon Plyler, Concord University
John Trout, Dakota State University
George Hatalowich, Davidson College
Scotty Gilkey Jr., Eastern Illinois University
De’Sean McNair, Elon University
Travis Russell, Ferris State University
Ryan Landis, Frostburg State University
Mason Dekker, Hope College
Garrett Hirsch, Illinois State University
Josh Pearson, Jacksonville State University
Dawson Aichholz, Johns Hopkins University
Luke Butera, Marist College
Adam Diggs, Maryville College
Dorian Kithcart, Mercer University
Jacob Wenzlick, Michigan Technological University
Alvin Joseph, Millsaps College
Parker Franzen, Minot State University
Aaron Feazelle, Mississippi College
Kurt Aumer, Monmouth University
Jacob Katzer, Morningside College
James Sappington, Murray State University
Ben Ellefson, North Dakota State University
Tanner Machacek, Northwestern College
Chris Zirkle, Northwestern State University
Mher Tcholakian, Ohio Wesleyan University
Jasper Smiley, Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Noah Kasbohm, Peru State College
Roy Garris Jr., Saint Augustine’s University
Ben Bartch, Saint John’s University (Minn.)
Drew Balestrieri, Salve Regina University
Christian Rozeboom, South Dakota State University
Zach Larsen, Southern Utah University
Nick Bainter, Springfield College
Brant Bailey, Tarleton State University
Alex Shillow, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Nick Strausbaugh, The College of Wooster
Diondre Wallace, Towson University
Kooper Richardson, University of California, Davis
Ryan Culhane, University of Dayton
Blaze Barista, University of Dubuque
Dante Olson, University of Montana
Noah Wanzek, University of North Dakota
Dwight Jackson, University of Puget Sound
Vinny Pallini, University of St. Thomas
Ryan Oliver, Utica College (N.Y.)
Luke Bevilacqua, Wayne State University
Peter Hoff, Western New England University
Brady Hogue, Westminster College (Pa.)