Buchanan Award winner Olson signing with Eagles

NCAA Football

(Stats Perform) – Dante Olson is back to having to prove himself again, and that’s never good for opposing ball carriers.

The former Montana inside linebacker was not selected in the NFL Draft this weekend, but he agreed to a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles afterward Saturday night.

He led the FCS in tackles last season and was recipient of the Stats Perform Buck Buchanan Award as the national defensive player of the year

“This is an incredible feeling and I couldn’t be happier or more humbled,” Olson said. “It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember to play in the NFL, so this is a culmination of a lot of hard work, but the hard work is far from over.”

NFL.com has lauded Olson’s “early diagnosis and plus recognition of play development.” The two-time first-team All-American had 179 tackles as a senior, setting Montana single-season and career (397) records. He added 11 tackles for loss, 3½ sacks, two takeaways and two forced fumbles to dominating season totals while helping the Grizzlies qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

The 6-foot-2½, 237-pound Olson lacks ideal speed for the next level, but he flashed athleticism at the NFL Combine with a 42-inch vertical leap – the third-highest ever for a linebacker at the annual scouting showcase – and a 10-4 broad jump – best of all 22 Montana players who have participated at the event.

“This kid is a search and destroy, make every-tackle player,” NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said at the Combine.

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