July 23, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. --- Washington State senior offensive guard Derrick Roche was selected first team preseason All-America in Football News' college football preview issue.
The Kent, Wash., native has started 27 games during his WSU career and will be begin his senior season on the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. Roche was tabbed second team preseason All-America by The Sporting News.
Roche is not the only Cougar receiving high praise from the weekly publication. Senior quarterback Jason Gesser, junior kicker Drew Dunning, and junior defensive tackle Rien Long were all named preseason first team All-Pac-10.
Gesser threw for 3,010 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2001 and needs 2,397 passing yards, 1,984 yards total offense, and 17 touchdown passes next season to establish WSU career records.
Dunning connected on 18 of 22 field goal attempts during his first season in the starting role and was named the most valuable special teams player in the Sun Bowl victory over Purdue.
Long established himself as one of the premier defensive tackles in the conference last season after recording three sacks and 10 tackles for loss.
Washington State was tabbed No. 7 in Football News' top 25 poll. Cross-state rival Washington was three spots behind at No. 10, with Oregon State and Oregon coming in at No. 22 and No. 24, respectively.
The Cougars begin the season Aug. 31 in Seattle against Western Athletic Conference foe Nevada.