Dec. 2, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. --- Washington State junior defensive tackle Rien Long was named first team All-America by the Football Writers Association and one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy Monday.
Long, a 6-6, 286-pound native of Anacortes, Wash., has been a dominant force for the Cougars this season, totaling 19.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. In an October showdown with USC, he racked up four tackles for loss, including two in overtime, to lead WSU past the Trojans. Long tallied 45 tackles from his interior position on the line and also batted away three passes.
Long was one of five Pac-10 players earning first team All-America honors. USC's Carson Palmer and Troy Polamalu, Arizona State's Terrell Suggs, and Washington's Reggie Williams were also included.
The Outland Trophy has been given annually to the best interior lineman in college football. Long would like to add his name to that list, continuing a tradition that started in 1946. The award is named after All-American lineman John Outland, who played at Penn State in the late 1800s.
Miami, Fla.'s center Brett Romberg and Utah's Jordan Gross are the other two finalists for the award. The winner will be selected Dec. 12 on the ESPN College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla. The winner will also be presented his Outland Trophy at a banquet on Jan. 9, which is hosted by the Omaha Sports Committee and First Data Corp.