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Montana Grizzly Josh Buss named to Butkus Award preseason watchlist

Montana Grizzly Josh Buss named to Butkus Award preseason watchlist

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Montana's Josh Buss sacks Eastern quarterback Gage Gubrud (8) last season. Buss was named to the Butkus Award preseason watchlist on Monday.

MISSOULA — The preseason accolades keep coming in for Montana's rising senior linebacker Josh Buss.

Buss was named one of 51 collegiate linebackers around the country named to the Butkus Award preseason watchlist. The Butkus Foundation presents the award annually to the nation's top high school, collegiate and professional linebackers while honoring athletic achievement and service to the community.

Buss was the only player who suits up at the FCS level to be put on the collegiate watchlist. Since the award's inception in 1985, no I-AA or FCS player has ever won the award.

Buss, from Boise, Idaho, has 198 career tackles and 36 tackles for loss in his three years as a Grizzly. As a junior, Buss recorded 94 tackles, including 13½ tackles for a loss, and his starting streak reached 22 games. 

Last week, Buss was named the Big Sky Conference's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. 

Buss missed all of Montana's spring football slate due to injury recovery and UM head coach Bobby Hauck isn't sure just how much Montana's defensive leader will see the field this fall.

"Just in regard to Josh, I hope he can play," Hauck said at the Big Sky Football Kickoff in Spokane last week. "He's had some health issues. We'll see."

The Butkus Award list will be trimmed down semi-finalists on October 29 and then down to a smaller list of finalists on November 19. 

Amie Just covers Griz football and Missoula-area preps. Follow her on Twitter @Amie_Just or email her at Amie.Just@406mtsports.com.

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