Mike Person's NFL dream came true Saturday afternoon.
Person, a Glendive product and an All-America offensive tackle at Montana State, was chosen in the seventh round (239th overall) of the NFL Draft by the 49ers.
Montana defensive back Jimmy Wilson, meanwhile, was a seventh-round selection of the Dolphins, the 235th overall pick.
Person and Wilson joined fellow Big Sky Conference players Taiwan Jones and Julius Thomas as draft choices on Saturday.
Following a satisfactory performance at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis in February, the 6-foot-5, 299-pound Person was projected as a late-round pick.
Person made 35 consecutive starts at both offensive tackle positions at MSU, and allowed only 6.5 sacks in four seasons. Person did not surrender a sack in the final 20 games of his career.
"It feels good, but there's still a lot of work to do," Person told The Gazette. "I have to make the roster. There are no guarantees, but it feels good to have a chance."
Wilson's path to the NFL was bumpy.
Wilson played cornerback at Montana from 2004-06 before being charged for murder in the June 2007 shooting death of a Lancaster, Calif., man. Wilson was eventually acquitted.
He re-enrolled at Montana and played safety for the Griz during the 2010 season. Wilson finished tied for sixth on the team with 50 tackles He had 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and two pass breakups
"Considering all of the things that I have been through, and all the time that I have spent here in Missoula, and playing football here; it's just a blessing and truly a dream come true to have this opportunity," Wilson said.
"All the hard work that I've put in, and all of the things I have been through, it is just a blessing and just indescribable."
Jones, a running back from Eastern Washington, was taken in the fourth round (125th overall) by the Raiders. Thomas, a tight end out of Portland State, was also taken in the fourth round (129th) overall by the Broncos.
Jones wowed scouts by clocking a 4.3 40-yard dash at the combine. Jones rushed for 1,742 yards and 14 touchdowns in 12 games in 2010, and averaged 7.9 yards per carry in 24 career games.
He earned the Big Sky's co-offensive MVP award (with Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee) and was named first-team All-America by the Associated Press.
Thomas played basketball at Portland State before joining the football team for his senior year. Thomas (6-5, 246) caught 29 passes for 453 yards and two touchdowns in 2010, earning a first-team All-Big Sky Conference selection.