Nov. 12, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University senior quarterback Jason Gesser Tuesday was named one of 10 finalists for player of the year honors by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
The fourth-oldest individual college football award in the nation, the Walter Camp Player of the Year will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter Thursday, December 12. The winner will receive his trophy during the Foundation's annual national awards banquet on February 8, 2003 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
In addition, college football fans can vote for their favorite candidate at www.waltercamp.org.
"I am thrilled for Jason and really appreciate the Walter Camp Foundation's recognition of his outstanding contributions on and off the field," WSU head coach Mike Price commented. "Everyone can read his stats and know he's one of the top players in the nation, but those close to the program understand the impact Jason has had on our team and this program. No one at Washington State was a three-time team captain until Jason Gesser came along."
"Everyone has worked hard to accomplish what Washington State has done the last two years, but no player deserves more credit than Jason", Price continued. "He has been a great leader for us for three years. He deserves to be selected one of the elite players in the country, regardless of the records he has set as WSU's all-time passing leader. This young man is a winner and will continue to be a winner in whatever he does when he leaves the Cougars."
Gesser has broken nearly every Cougar quarterback record, including passing and total offense records held by Jack Thompson, and Ryan Leaf's career touchdown pass records.
Walter Camp, "The Father of American football," first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp, a former Yale University athlete and football coach, is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation, a New Haven-based all-volunteer group, was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
The other nine finalists for the 2002 Walter Camp Player of the Year award include:
Brad Banks, Iowa, QB, Senior - Holds the top QB rating (167.8) in the nation in leading the Hawkeyes to a 10-1 record, 7-0 in the Big Ten. Has completed 146-of-241 passes for 2,269 yards and 23 touchdowns. Completed all 10 of his passes (197 yards) and added 54 yards rushing in a win over Northwestern on November 9.
Chris Brown, Colorado, RB, Junior - The top rusher in the nation with 1,617 yards (161.7 yards/game), Brown has scored 17 touchdowns in 2002. Has rushed for 100 yards in each of his last seven games. Rushed for 309 yards in a win at Kansas on October 12.
Maurice Clarett, Ohio State, RB, Freshman - Has rushed for 1,071 yards and 13 touchdowns for the undefeated and second-ranked Buckeyes. Rushed for a season-best 230 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Washington State on September 14.
Ken Dorsey, Miami, QB, Senior - The leader of the undefeated and top-ranked Hurricanes (9-0), Dorsey has thrown for 2,265 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2002. Has thrown for 300 yards three times, including a season-high 422 at West Virginia on October 26.
Quentin Griffin, Oklahoma, RB, Senior - Has rushed for 1,091 yards (6.7 yards per rush) and six touchdowns in 2002. Rushed for a career-best 248 yards and one touchdown in the Sooners' victory over Texas on October 12.
Byron Leftwich, Marshall, QB, Senior - Has passed for 2,995 yards, completing 223-of-334 attempts with 19 touchdowns. Has thrown 300 yards in seven of eight games, including three 400-yard efforts. Completed 28-of-35 passes for 447 yards and four touchdowns in win over Buffalo on October 12.
Willis McGahee, Miami, RB, Sophomore - Has totaled 1,188 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Hurricanes. Averaging 6.3 yards per rush. Has rushed for 100 yards in seven of nine games, including a season-high 204 yards in a win over Florida on September 7.
Carson Palmer, USC, QB, Senior - Has passed for 2,746 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, completing 217-of-346 attempts. Has five 300-yard passing efforts, including a season-best 448-yard, five-touchdown outing in a win at Oregon on October 26.
Onterrio Smith, Oregon, RB, Junior - Has rushed for 1,079 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Ducks. Has rushed for 100 yards in seven of eight games this season, including a season-best 152-yard effort in a win over UCLA on October 12.