CNNSI Honors Four Cougar Gridders

Dec. 9, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. --- Junior defensive tackle Rien Long headlined a list of four Rose Bowl-bound Washington State Cougars on the All-America team Monday.

Long, a native of Anacortes, Wash., was picked to the first team on the strength of his team high 20.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. He was also a first team selection by the Football Writers.

Senior offensive guard Derrick Roche made his second All-American team, as he was named to CNNSI's second unit. Roche has started 37 games in his Cougar career and has been the anchor for WSU's offensive line during its 20-4 run over the last two seasons. Roche was a first team pick by the American Football Coaches Association.

Senior quarterback Jason Gesser and cornerback Marcus Trufant received honorable mention from the on-line publication.

Gesser, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, finished the season with a memorable performance against UCLA at the Rose Bowl, completing 15 of 24 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns on an injured ankle and knee. Gesser totaled 3,169 yards and 27 touchdown passes for the year and has a 24-10 career record as the Cougars' signal caller.

Trufant, who hails from Tacoma, Wash., is third on the team in tackles with 69, has picked off three passes, and broken up 12 others. He is also one of the Pac-10's premier punt returners, averaging 10.9 yards on 36 returns with a high of 52 yards.

Washington State will wrap up it second-straight 10-win season Jan. 1 at The Rose Bowl against Big XII champion Oklahoma.

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