Challengers News · Challenger Grad Named Defensive Player Of The Year in FCS


Here’s some big news about Cascade Christian graduate Dante Olson. One our best defensive players in the history of Challengers football is closing out his college career on a high note at the University of Montana.

This is from the pages of the Grizzlies athletic website:

“Montana linebacker Dante Olson has added another of the most prestigious awards in FCS football to his already impressive resume, being named the Defensive Player of the Year by the Division-I Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association (FCS ADA), the organization announced Wednesday.

In coordination with the 13 FCS conference offices, Olson was selected as the first Grizzly ever to be named FCS ADA Defensive MVP, while North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance took home the FCS ADA Offensive MVP award.

Olson and Lance will be recognized during an on-field presentation on Saturday, January 11, at the FCS Championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Both honorees will be presented with a plaque by current FCS ADA President and University of Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam.

While in Frisco, Olson will also find out if he is to be Montana’s third winner of the Buck Buchanan Award – the nation’s premiere FCS Defensive Player of the Year honor – at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet, set for Friday, January 10 at the Embassy Suites hotel in Frisco.

The 2019 Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Olson is a consensus First-Team All-American (AFCA, STATS, FCS ADA, Associated Press, HERO Sports, and Walter Camp). Olson led the FCS in total tackles for the second-straight season after recording 179 total tackles in 2019, setting a Big Sky Conference record for most tackles in a single season.

He became Montana’s all-time leading tackler as a senior with 397 career stops, breaking Vince Huntsberger’s 2001 record of 393. The senior linebacker posted double-digit tackle totals in 10 of Montana’s 14 games, with a season-high of 18 tackles twice…..”

Olson’s 2019 Postseason Accolades

  • Buck Buchanan Award Finalist (FCS Defensive Player of the Year)
  • FCS ADA Defensive Player of the Year
  • Walter Camp All-American
  • AFCA First-Team All-American
  • STATS FCS First-Team All-American
  • FCS ADA All-American
  • Associated Press First-Team All-American
  • HERO Sports First-Team All-American
  • Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year
  • First-Team All-Big Sky Defense
  • Phil Steele Magazine Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year
  • Phil Steele Magazine First-Team All-Big Sky Defense
  • Montana’s Steve Carlson Award for Team MVP
  • Montana Defensive Team MVP
  • Montana Golden Helmet Award Winner (Team’s Hardest Hitter)
  • National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete & William V. Campbell Trophy Finalist
  • CoSIDA Academic All-American
  • CoSIDA Academic All-District
  • Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Member