IOWA CITY, IA. – Three University of Iowa football players have been named pre-season first-team all-Americans by The Sporting News and three others received special mention for the upcoming season.

Offensive tackle Robert Gallery, strong safety Bob Sanders and place-kicker Nate Kaeding have been named as the top players in the country, at their position, by the publication. Running back Fred Russell was named the eighth best as his position in the country; outside linebacker Grant Steen the 13th best and defensive tackle Jared Clauss the 16th best. All six players will be seniors this fall.

Gallery and Kaeding have also been named to the 2003 Playboy magazine pre-season all-America team.

Gallery, a 6-7, 317 pounder, is considered one of the favorites for this year's Outland and Lombardi Awards. He was a first-team all-Big Ten performer last year.

Kaeding won last year's Lou Groza Award as the nation's top placekicker and was named to four first all-America teams. He was also a second-team academic all-American. He made 22 straight field goals over the 2001-2002 seasons. He currently ranks third on Iowa's career scoring charts with 267 points.

Sanders, a 5-8, 202-pounder, was a 2002 fourth team all-American after being named to the first all-Big Ten team. He has 276 career tackles to rank 14th on Iowa's all-time tackle charts. He has been named to the 2003 watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Year Award and Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Year Award.

Russell will be on the watch list for this year's Doak Walker Running Back of the Year Award. He rushed for 1,264 yards last season and had a single game high of 194 yards against Minnesota.

Steen established a single game Big Ten record for a linebacker, a year ago, when he intercepted three passes against Indiana. That accomplishment also tied an NCAA record. Steen has 131 career tackles.

Clauss was a key member of last year's defense that ranked fifth nationally against the run. He has 98 career tackles.

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