Montana Western's Jason Ferris Signs with the Carolina Panthers

University of Montana Western linebacker Jason Ferris has signed a contract as an undrafted free agent with the National Football League's Carolina Panthers.

Ferris, a 6-3 linebacker from Dillon, is the two-time defending Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Year and two-time First-Team NAIA, AFCA and AP All-American.

“I’m really excited and I can’t believe it,” Ferris said. “It’s been a crazy couple of months with everything up in the air, but, I’m glad to know where I will be going.”

Ferris signed a three-year contract Saturday night after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft.

“We are all really proud of Jason and all he’s accomplished and to get this incredible opportunity to play in the NFL is amazing for him,” head coach Ryan Nourse said. “Jason has worked for everything he has gotten and I know he will continue to give his absolute best and keep earning more opportunities and making all the dawgs out there proud.”

In 2019 Ferris was named First-Team All-Conference and the Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He led the Frontier with 119 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, seven passes defended, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown and a blocked kick. He finished third in the nation in tackles per game, averaging 11.9 and was eighth in the nation in forced fumbles.

In addition to the All-American and Conference Player of the Year honors, Ferris’ long list of accolades includes being a top-five finalist for the 2019 Cliff Harris award in which he received the most votes of all NAIA players. He is a four-time academic all-conference selection, three-time CoSIDA academic all-district selection and a two-time Daktronics Scholar-Athlete. He is a member of the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society and was a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation Campbell Trophy.

Ferris will know soon when he reports to the Panthers.

According to known records of former Bulldogs, Joe Morstein was invited to try out for the Chicago Bears, Rich Hucke was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1976 and Ron Lehnerz had a tryout with the Houston Oilers, though these alumni didn’t end up playing in an NFL game.

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