Nov. 14, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Jason Gesser, Washington State's record-setting quarterback who has guided the Cougars to their highest national ranking ever, third by both Associated Press and the BCS, has been named one of 14 semifinalists for the 2002 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.
The O'Brien Advisory Committee, composed of national sportswriters and commentators, will vote later this month to narrow the field again. The three finalists will be announced on Monday, December 2 by the National College Football Awards Association in a joint effort among college football award programs.
Gesser, with two regular season games to play, has shattered WSU career records for total offense, passing yards and touchdown passes, along with several other school records. He is the winningest quarterback in WSU history with a 23-9 record as a starter. He has thrown a remarkable 66 touchdown passes in his last 30 games. Gesser led WSU to a 10-2 record last year and to a 9-1 start this year, including a perfect 6-0 mark in Pacific-10 Conference action. WSU needs one win in its final two games to clinch a share of the Pac-10 title, which would be the school's second in six seasons.
One additional win will also give WSU back to back 10-win seasons. The Cougars have already qualified for a post-season bowl game, the first time WSU had back to back bowl appearances.
"Football is a team game, but there is no question who the leader of our team has been for three years," said Mike Price, the veteran 14-year Cougar head coach.
"The records Jason has set, some of them nearly 25 years old, speak for themselves," Price continued. "He is an unselfish player who has never been concerned with individual honors. Winning, which he has done with unparallel success, has been his only goal."
The other 13 semifinalists, in alphabetical order, are: Brad Banks, Iowa; Kyle Boller, California; Ken Dorsey, Miami; Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech; Byron Leftwich, Marshall; Jared Lorenzen, Kentucky; Eli Manning, Mississippi; Zack Mills, Penn State; Carson Palmer, USC; Dave Ragone, Louisville; Philip Rivers, North Carolina State; Chris Simms, Texas; Seneca Wallace, Iowa State
The winner of the 2002 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award will be announced on the 2002 Home Depot College Football Awards Show, 7:00 PM EST, Thursday, December 12, 2002. The show will air on ESPN live from the Atlantic Dance Hall on the BoardWalk at Disney, right next to Epcot in Orlando, Fla. The winner will be honored at the 26th annual O'Brien Awards Dinner, February 17, 2003, at The Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth, Texas. Air transportation is provided by American Airlines, the official airline of the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.