Welcome to the 2019 FCS Kickoff Jersey Countdown.
The regular season begins Saturday, Aug. 24 with Samford vs. Youngstown State in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff along with Villanova playing at Colgate.
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HERO Sports is going to count down each day by highlighting the best player in the FCS who wears the jersey number equal to the number of days until kickoff. You can find the running list of top players here.
*Note: Jersey numbers are from the 2018 season.
33: Dante Olson, LB (Sr.) — Montana
When talking about the best defensive players in the FCS this year, Dante Olson should be a name mentioned within seconds. The 6-foot-3 and 237-pound linebacker strikes fear in offenses and had a Big Sky head coach say Olson gives him nightmares whenever they play the Grizzlies.
Olson led all of Division I in total tackles during the 2018 regular season with 151. He was named to several All-American First Teams, was Phil Steele's FCS Defensive Player of the Year and finished third in the Buck Buchanan Award voting for top FCS defensive player. Along with Olson's 151 total tackles, he added 11 tackles for loss, six sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles
RELATED: 2019 Montana Team Preview
Olson had double-digit tackles in nine of 11 games, including 24 against Cal Poly and followed that game up with 19 against Portland State. He ended the season with 18 tackles versus rival Montana State.
It's hard to imagine Olson improving statistically as a senior, but considering he went from 38 total tackles in 2017 to 151, we think he's just scratching the surface of his potential. HERO Sports has him on our All-American First Team. And when the 2019 season wraps up for the Griz, Olson is going to get a ton of NFL Draft buzz (which is already starting).
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