I remember Josh Buss bowling over defenses as a running back for Mountain View high school. The Mavericks would say they're going to ride the Buss all the way to a 5A championship.

When Buss went from high school to Montana to play for the Big Sky Grizzlies he left offense behind and is no large and in charge on the defensive side of the ball for Montana.

In fact he's been named the pre-season defensive player of the year in the Big Sky!

Buss, a 6-2, 220-pound linebacker from Boise, Idaho, has been one of the most decorated players in Grizzly history during his first two seasons as a starter.

"I'm really honored and thankful to get this recognition, but it's something that could never happen without my teammates," said Buss.

The two-time Steve Carlson defensive team MVP burst onto the scene as a sophomore, leading the Big Sky with 20 tackles-for-loss and posting more total tackles than any other Grizzly that season (81). He earned the ROOT Sports Player of the Week award that year with a (then) career-high 10 tackles and 4.5 TFLs against Sacramento State.

Following the breakout year, he earned third-team All-Big Sky honors and was named to the Hero Sports first-team sophomore All-America squad.

As a junior, Buss was a finalist for the Buchanan Award, given annually to the national defensive player of the year. He set a pair of career-high marks with 14 tackles against North Dakota and 17 against Eastern Washington. He finished the year ranked fifth in the Big Sky in tackles with 94, and sixth in TFLs, all while being marked by offensive blockers as one of UM's biggest threats.

Following the season he was named second-team All-Big Sky and was named to two different All-America teams.

With one season to play, Buss has amassed 198 career tackles, and currently sits at No. 8 on UM's all-time TFL leader list with 36. He would need 18 more to surpass Zack Wagenmann as the Grizzlies' all-time leader in tackles-for-loss.


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