Dec. 13, 2002
ORLANDO, Fla. --- Washington State junior defensive tackle Rien Long was named the winner of the Outland Trophy at the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN Dec. 12.
Presented to the nation's best interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America, Long became the first WSU player to ever receive a national individual award. In addition, Long was named a first team All-America by the Football Writers Association.
Long, a 6-6, 286-pound native of Anacortes, Wash., has been a dominant force for the Cougars this season, totaling 20.5 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, which has been awarded since 1946, 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 were the other two finalists for the award. The award was presented on the ESPN College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla. Long 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.