Pac-10 Announces Football Awards and All-Conference Teams

Dec. 2, 2002

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All-Academic Football Team

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--Quarterback Jason Gesser of Washington State, quarterback Carson Palmer of USC and defensive end Terrell Suggs of Arizona State have been named Pac-10 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. In addition, wide receiver Mike Williams of USC was named Freshman of the Year and Jeff Tedford of California was named Coach of theYear. The award winners are selected by the Pac-10 head football coaches.

CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR JASON GESSER, QB, WASHINGTON STATE: Gesser, a senior from Honolulu, Hawaii, has directed Washington State to a 9-2 record and a shot at a Rose Bowl berth. The Cougars would tie for the Pac-10 title and earn the Conference berth in the Rose Bowl with a win at UCLA this week. The 9-2 mark runs Gesser's record as Washington State's starter to 23-10, including 19-4 over the last two seasons. No other quarterback in WSU history has more wins. This season Gesser has completed 204 of 344 passes (.593) for 2,922 yards, 25 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. He leads the Pac-10 and is fifth in the nation in passing efficiency. With Gesser at the controls, the Washington State offense ranks in the top 20 in the nation in scoring offense (33.5), total offense (427.4) and passing offense (295.0). Gesser currently stands ninth on the Pac-10 career total offense list (8,574) and fourth in career touchdown passes (67). Gesser is a finalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and the Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year Award.

CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR CARSON PALMER, QB, USC: Palmer, a senior from Laguna Niguel, Calif., directed USC to a 10-2 record, at least a share of the Pac-10 title and a probable BCS bowl berth. Palmer completed 288 of 458 passes (.629) for 3,639 yards and 32 touchdowns. The 3,639 yards and 32 touchdown passes are each the second-highest single-season marks in Conference history. This season Palmer also became the Pac-10 career leader in both passing (11,515 yards) and total offense (11,314). He stands third in career touchdown passes with 71. In addition to his Pac-10 marks, Palmer set at least 23 USC records during his career. Palmer ranks in the top 10 in the nation in total offense, passing efficiency and completions. And with Palmer at the controls, USC ranks in the top 10 in the nation in scoring offense (35.6), total offense (440.8) and passing offense (307.1). Like Gesser, Palmer is a finalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and the Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year Award, plus the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR TERRELL SUGGS, DE, ARIZONA STATE: Suggs, a junior from Chandler, Arizona, has had a sensational season that has seen him lead the nation and set Pac-10 and NCAA single-season records for quarterback sacks. The two-time All-Pac-10 selection established NCAA and Pac-10 records with 22 quarterback sacks. His career total of 42 is an ASU career record. Suggs also leads the Pac-10 and the nation in tackles for loss with 29.5, which establishes a new Pac-10 season record. With Suggs as the leader, the ASU defense led the Pac-10 in QB sacks with 49 . Suggs is a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award, the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy this season.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR MIKE WILLIAMS, WR, USC: Williams, from Tampa, Florida, has recorded one of the finest seasons for a freshman in league history. Williams has pulled in 75 receptions for 1,166 yards (15.5) and 13 touchdowns. The receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions are Pac-10 freshman records and he ranks third in receptions and fourth in yards in the Conference. His 13 touchdown receptions are just one shy of the USC season record. At one point in the season he had four consecutive 100-yard receiving games and seven straight games with a touchdown pass.

COACH OF THE YEAR JEFF TEDFORD, CALIFORNIA: Tedford fashioned a remarkable turnaround in his first season at California. The Golden Bears, coming off a 1-10 season in 2001, were picked to finish last in the Pac-10 in the pre-season media poll. Instead, California recorded a 7-5 mark to post its first winning season since 1993. Included was a 4-4 record in Pac-10 play and a remarkable three road victories against nationally ranked opponents. The team's 5.5 game improvement was the second-biggest turnaround in Cal history and one of the biggest in league annals. By winning six more games than last year, the Bears enjoyed the largest one-year turnaround in NCAA Division 1-A this season. Tedford came to California after a stint as offensive coordinator at Oregon and his offensive prowess became immediately apparent as the Bears were Pac-10 co-leaders and tied for 10th in the nation in scoring offense at 35.6 points per game. Cal also led the Pac-10 and was fifth in the nation in turnover margin at +18.

In addition to individual awards, the Pac-10 coaches selected the 2002 All-Pac-10 Football Team that follows.

(pick up team)

PAC-10 CONFERENCE: Named quarterbacks Jason Gesser of Washington State and Carson Palmer of USC co-offensive players of the year, end Terrell Suggs of Arizona State defensive player of the year, wide receiver Mike Williams of USC freshman of the year and Jeff Tedford of California coach of the year.


First Team Offense Second Team Offense
QB Jason Gesser, Sr., Washington State QB Cody Pickett, Jr., Washington
QB Carson Palmer, Sr., USC QB Kyle Boller, Sr., California
RB Onterrio Smith, Jr., Oregon RB Justin Fargas, Sr., USC
RB Steven Jackson, So., Oregon State RB Tyler Ebell, Fr., UCLA
WR Shaun McDonald, Jr.., Arizona State WR Mike Williams, Fr., USC
WR Bobby Wade, Sr., Arizona WR Keary Colbert, Jr., USC
WR Reggie Williams, So., Washington
TE Mike Seidman, Sr., UCLA TE George Wrighster, Jr., Oregon
OL Kwame Harris, Jr., Stanford OL Dan Weaver, Jr., Oregon
OL Mike Saffer, Sr., UCLA OL Makoa Freitas, Sr., Arizona
OL Derrick Roche, Sr., Washington State OL Zach Wilson, Sr., USC
OL Jacob Rogers, Jr., USC OL Eyoseph Efseaff, So., UCLA
OL Calvin Armstrong, So., Washington State OL Bryce Bohlander, Sr., UCLA
OL Scott Tercero, Sr., California
First Team Defense Second Team Defense
DL Terrell Suggs, Jr., Arizona State DL Kenechi Udeze, So., USC
DL Eric Manning, Sr., Oregon State DL Kai Ellis, Sr., Washington
DL Tully Banta-Cain, Sr., California DL Dave Ball, Jr., UCLA
DL Rien Long, Jr., Washington State DL Mike Patterson, So., USC
LB Richard Seigler, Jr., Oregon State LB Kevin Mitchell, Jr., Oregon
LB Nick Barnett, Sr., Oregon State LB David Moretti, Sr., Oregon
LB Lance Briggs, Sr., Arizona LB Marcus Reese, Sr., UCLA
LB Matt Grootegoed, So., USC
DB Troy Polamalu, Sr., USC DB Keith Lewis, Jr., Oregon
DB Marcus Trufant, Sr., Washington State DB Jemeel Powell, Sr., California
DB Ricky Manning, Sr., UCLA DB Terrell Roberts, Sr., Oregon State
DB Dennis Weathersby, Sr., Oregon State DB DeShaun Hill, Sr., USC
DB Derrick Johnson, So., Washington
First Team Specialists Second Team Specialists
PK Jared Siegel, So., Oregon PK John Anderson, Sr., Washington
P Nate Fikse, Sr., UCLA P Tim Parker, Jr., Arizona State
KOR LaShaun Ward, Sr., California KOR Allan Amundson, Sr., Oregon
PR Keenan Howry, Sr., Oregon PR Bobby Wade, Sr., Arizona
ST Ray Wells, Sr., Arizona ST Mike McGrath, So., California

ST=special teams player (not a kicker or returner)

Co-Offensive Player of the Year: Jason Gesser, QB, Sr., WSU and Carson Palmer, QB, Sr., USCDefensive Player of the Year: Terrell Suggs, DE, Jr., Arizona StateFreshman of the Year: Mike Williams, WR, USCCoach of the Year: Jeff Tedford, California

Honorable Mention

ARIZONA: CB Darrell Brooks, Fr.; TE James Hugo, Sr.; QB Jason Johnson, Sr.; DT Young Thompson, Sr.; FS Jarvie Worcester, Sr.

ARIZONA STATE: OG Drew Hodgdon, So.; CB R.J. Oliver, So.; TE Mike Pinkard, Sr.; FS Jason Shivers, So.; S Ricardo Stewart, So.; DE Jimmy Verdon, So.; LB Mason Unck, Sr.

CALIFORNIA: DT Lorenzo Alexander, So.; DE Tom Canada, Sr.; PK Mark Jensen, Sr.; OLB Matt Nixon, Sr.; OT Mark Wilson, Jr.

OREGON: OG Joey Forster, Jr.; WR Keenan Howry, Sr.; DT Haloti Ngata, Fr.; DT Igor Olshansky, So.; WR Samie Parker, Jr.; OG Nick Steitz, So.

OREGON STATE: DT Dwan Edwards, Jr.; OT Mike Kuykendall, Sr.; FL James Newson, Jr.; DE Bill Swancutt, So.; PK Kirk Yliniemi, Jr.

STANFORD: FS Colin Branch, Sr.; DT Matt Leonard Sr.; FB Casey Moore, Sr.; OG Greg Schindler, Sr.

UCLA: SE Craig Bragg, So.; OLB Brandon Chillar, Jr.; DT Steve Morgan, Sr.; FL Tab Perry, Jr.; OG Steven Viera, So.

USC: DT Shaun Cody, So.; SE Kareem Kelly, Sr.; RB Malaefou MacKenzie, Sr.; P Tom Malone, Fr.; MLB Mike Pollard, Sr.; CB Darrell Rideaux, Sr.

WASHINGTON: FL Paul Arnold, Sr.; SS Greg Carothers, Jr.; ILB Marquis Cooper, Jr.; ILB Ben Mahdavi, Sr.; OT Nick Newton, So.; TE Kevin Ware, Sr.; OLB Jafar Williams, Sr.

WASHINGTON STATE: P Kyle Basler, Fr.; FS Erik Coleman, Jr.; DE Isaac Brown, Jr.; FL Devard Darling, So.; CB Jason David, Jr.; PK Drew Dunning, Jr.; RB Jermaine Green, Jr.; C Tyler Hunt, Sr.; WR Jerome Riley, Sr.; DE Fred Shavies, Sr.; DT Jeremey Williams, Jr.


Selection Procedures: The All-Pac-10 Team is selected by the Pac-10 head football coaches.

By School: Oregon State and Washington State placed the most players on the first team with five selections. UCLA and USC were next with four, followed by Arizona and Oregon with three each.

By Class: Of the 30 first-team selections, 18 are seniors, seven are juniors and five are sophomores. No freshmen made the first team.

Unanimous: Three players--SS Troy Polamalu of USC, DE Terrell Suggs of Arizona State and CB Marcus Trufant of Washington State--were named on the first team ballots of all 10 coaches.

Two-time Selections: A total of 11 players were voted first-team selections for the second time--MLB Lance Briggs, (ARIZ), P Nate Fikse (UCLA), PR Keenan Howry (ORE), DT Eric Manning (OSU), CB Ricky Manning (UCLA), WR Shaun McDonald (ASU), SS Troy Polamalu (USC), OG Derrick Roche (WSU), DE Terrell Suggs (ASU), WR/RS Bobby Wade (ARIZ), CB Dennis Weathersby (OSU).

Three-time Selections: MLB Lance Briggs of Arizona and CB Ricky Manning of UCLA were named first-team selections for the third time.

Double Dipper: Bobby Wade of Arizona was voted to the first-team at wide receiver and to the second team as a punt returner.

Classroom Star: Oregon State CB Dennis Weathersby pulled off the difficult double of being named to the first team of both the All-Conference Team and the All-Academic Football Team. Weathersby is a two-time All-Conference selection and a four-time All-Academic pick.

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