OSU gets three All-Americans

Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ohio State is No. 2 in the polls and No. 1 in AP All-Americans.

Ohio State strong safety Mike Doss, linebacker Matt Wilhelm and kicker Mike Nugent were among 25 players selected to The Associated Press All-America team Tuesday.

When the Buckeyes line up to play top-ranked Miami for the national title in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3, they will face two All-Americans -- tailback Willis McGahee and center Brett Romberg.

Doss and Wilhelm led a formidable Ohio State defense that ranked second in the country in points allowed at 12.2 per game. Nugent made 24 of 26 field goals for the Buckeyes (13-0), who won six of their games by seven points or fewer.

McGahee, who set school records with 1,686 yards and 27 touchdowns, often followed the blocks of Romberg in helping the Hurricanes (12-0) average 41.9 points, third in the nation.

One of six sophomores on the All-America team, McGahee ran for 205 yards and a school-record six TDs in a 56-45 win over Virginia Tech on Dec. 7.

Southern California's Carson Palmer followed up his Heisman Trophy win with his selection as All-American quarterback, with Iowa's Brad Banks -- the AP's College Player of the Year -- on the second team and Miami's Ken Dorsey on the third team.

Banks was the Heisman runner-up.

Palmer threw for 3,639 yards and 32 touchdowns in leading the fifth-ranked Trojans (10-2) to a share of the Pac-10 title and a berth in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder set seven league and 23 school records during his senior season.

Joining McGahee in the backfield was record-breaking Larry Johnson of Penn State.

Johnson became just the ninth Division I-A player to top 2,000 yards, finishing with a school-record 2,015 yards and 23 touchdowns. The senior also led the nation in all-purpose yards with 2,575, and last week won the Maxwell Award as the nation's top player and the Doak Walker Award as the top running back.

Cornerback Shane Walton gave Notre Dame its first All-American since 1993, when offensive tackle Aaron Taylor made it.

Leading the defense were end Terrell Suggs of Arizona State, linebacker E.J. Henderson of Maryland and tackle Rien Long of Washington State.

Suggs, with an NCAA-record 22 sacks, won the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman. Henderson, who led the Terrapins to a second straight 10-win season with 163 tackles, was the lone repeat All-American selection. Long, with 13 sacks, took the Outland Trophy as the top interior lineman.

Charles Rogers of Michigan State and Reggie Williams of Washington were the wide receivers. Rogers caught a school-record 68 passes for 1,351 yards and 13 touchdowns, and Williams had 89 catches for 1,390 yards and 11 TDs.

Iowa, Southern California and Oklahoma all had two players on the team.

Southern Cal safety Troy Polamalu joined Palmer; Iowa's All-Americans were tight end Dallas Clark and offensive lineman Eric Steinbach; and Oklahoma's were defensive tackle Tommie Harris and linebacker Teddy Lehman.

The other offensive linemen were Shawn Andrews of Arkansas, Derrick Dockery of Texas and Jordan Gross of Utah.

Derek Abney of Kentucky, who set an NCAA record with six kick returns for touchdowns, was the all-purpose player. The 5-10, 175-pound junior averaged 160.17 total yards per game.

Rounding out the defense were end David Pollack of Georgia and defensive back Terence Newman of Kansas State.

Mark Mariscal of Colorado was the punter. He led the nation with a 48.3-yard average, including 26 punts of 50 yards or longer.

In addition to six sophomores, the team has 14 seniors and five juniors.

The Big Ten led all conferences with seven All-Americans, followed by the Pac-10 and Big 12 with five apiece.


The All-America team was selected by the following sports writers:

Andrew Bagnato (Chicago Tribune); Tony Barnhart (Atlanta Journal-Constitution); Bill Campbell (Dallas Morning News); Chris Dufresne (Los Angeles Times); Dick Weiss (New York Daily News); Rusty Miller (AP Columbus, Ohio); Paul Newberry (AP Atlanta); Ken Peters (AP Los Angeles); Alan Robinson (AP Pittsburgh); John Zenor (AP Montgomery, Ala.); and Richard Rosenblatt (AP national college football writer).

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