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Montana linebacker Josh Buss, right, runs the ball after intercepting a Savannah State pass in 2017.

MISSOULA — The trophy case isn't full yet for Montana linebacker Josh Buss. 

On Tuesday, Buss was named as a preseason first-team All-American by STATS FCS.

Buss, a rising senior, was the only Grizzly to make any of the three teams. He was one of five Big Sky Conference players to make the first team. 

The other four first-team All-Americans that play in the Big Sky were UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss, Portland State tight end Charlie Taumoepeau, Southern Utah offensive lineman Zach Larsen and Weber State offensive lineman Iosua Opeta. 

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.

After the conclusion of the 2017 season, Buss won Montana's defensive player of the year award for the second consecutive year and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, an accolade recognizing the FCS' top defender.

This isn't the first preseason accolade for Buss. He was the lone FCS player named to the Butkus Award preseason watchlist last week. He was also named the Big Sky Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in mid-July. 

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 in mid-July. "He's had some health issues. We'll see."

Montana has had 63 players earn postseason All-America honors by STATS/The Sports Network since 1987. Tyrone Homes and Jamaal Jones were named STATS All-Americans most recently in 2015 – the same year Holmes was named the national Defensive Player of the Year.

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

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