Marshall’s Cato Named to Walter Camp Award Watch List


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Rakeem Cato added more preseason recognition to his crowded resume on Friday, when the Marshall senior quarterback was selected as one of 50 players to the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award Watch List.

The Walter Camp Foundation presents the Camp Award annually to the national college football player of the year.

Cato, considered a candidate for the 2014 Heisman Trophy, previously was named in the last two weeks to watch lists for the Maxwell Award (national player of the year) and Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. He also was selected earlier this week by Conference USA coaches as the 2014 C-USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

Cato is on numerous preseason all-conference lists and has been named the league’s top player by most magazines, websites. The Miami native has thrown a touchdown pass in 32 consecutive games, the high for an active FBS quarterback (FBS record is 38 by Russell Wilson, 2009-11 at N.C. State; 2011 at Wisconsin).

The Miami native is poised to break numerous Marshall passing records set by former NFL and Herd quarterbacks Byron Leftwich and Chad Pennington. In 39 games in three seasons, Cato has hit 886-of-1,387 passes (63.9 percent) for 10,176 yards and 91 touchdowns. He also has rushed for an additional 357 yards and 7 scores.

Cato was the 2012 C-USA Most Valuable Player and the 2013 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year.

In all, 42 schools are represented on the Walter Camp preseason list. There are 33 offensive players (16 quarterbacks, 8 receivers, 7 running backs, and 2 offensive linemen) and 17 from the defensive side of the ball (7 defensive backs, 5 defensive linemen, and 5 linebackers).

The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists in mid-November. The 2014 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 125 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced Dec. 11. The winner will receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Jan. 17, 2015 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.

Appearing on the preseason Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Walter Camp Award or be named to the Camp All-American team.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale athlete and football coach – also is 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.

Marshall players on 2014 preseason watch lists for national college football awards (through 7/16/14)

Maxwell Award – Rakeem Cato, QB

Walter Camp Award – Rakeem Cato, QB

Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award – Rakeem Cato, QB

Bednarik Award – James Rouse, DT

Rimington Trophy – Chris Jasperse, C

Ray Guy Award – Tyler Williams, P

Rotary Lombardi Award – Jermaine Holmes, LB; Chris Jasperse, C; Clint Van Horn, OT.

Biletnikoff Award – Tommy Shuler, WR

AFCA Good Works Team – Chris Jasperse, C

College Football Performance Awards – Rakeem Cato, QB; Tommy Shuler, WR; Jermaine Holmes, LB; Steward Butler, RB; Tyler Williams, P; Deandre Reaves, KR.

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