BOZEMAN — On Wednesday, Montana State linebacker Troy Andersen was named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan award which goes to the best defensive player in the FCS. The senior has racked up 116 tackles and 10.5 tackles for a loss on the year.
“I mean there’s a whole ton of players in the country that are really good and to be one of the top three that people think are the best, it means a lot,” he said.
The star linebacker was in Las Vegas on Tuesday night being honored as a NFF National Scholar-Athlete and was one of the Campbell Trophy Finalists. A highlight for Andersen was meeting Tony Romo, as he grew up being a Cowboys fan.
“It was a whirlwind of a day, but to be able to meet some incredible people and the other student athletes as well – they were just really impressive, everybody there," Andersen said. "It was an awesome experience and I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”
When it comes to accolades, or even his NFL Draft stock, Andersen pays no attention to the outside noise and sets his sights on the quarterfinal game against Sam Houston State.
“It’s pretty easy to put it to the side when you have a playoff game coming up," he said. "It’s cool and stuff, but it doesn’t really matter as long as we're still playing and continue to focus on Sam Houston State and getting a win this weekend.”
Last Saturday could have been his last game at Bobcat Stadium.
“A little weird, might not be back, might be back," he said. "Keep winning football games, you have a chance to play another one there, but definitely it was like, 'yeah this could be the last one that I play here' and kind of savor the moment a little bit more.”
The Dillon native appreciates all the support he has received from Montanans during his career and here’s what he would have said to his younger self if you told him he would be in the position today:
“I don’t know if I’d believe him," Andersen said. "It’s been a pretty weird college career to be honest with you. Just with all the position changes and I mean, coaching staffs and injuries and stuff. It’s been awesome and I wouldn’t change any of it. I loved my time here at Montana State and hopefully we have a few weeks more.”