July 8, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Marshall junior quarterback Rakeem Cato was named to the 77th Maxwell Award Watch List on Monday morning by the Maxwell Football Club.
Cato, who last season was the first underclassman in Conference USA history to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player, led the nation in completions (406) and passing yards per game (350.08). His 37 touchdown passes ranked third nationally, while his 69.5 completion rate was fourth and his 352.67 yards of total offense per game stood fifth. He also led the league in pass efficiency (147.1).
His 66.2% career completion mark (588-of-888) is currently a school record, just ahead of Herd legends Chad Pennington (65.1) and Byron Leftwich (63.4).
Cato is the first Marshall player to be named to the Maxwell list since running back Darius Marshall was added to it in October of the 2009 season after he led the nation in rushing and all-purpose yardage through the first five games.
Cato is one of 76 players on the preseason Maxwell Watch List.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been presented to America's College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell’s contributions to the game of football were extensive as a player, a sportswriter and an official.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Oct. 29, while the three finalists for the award will be unveiled Nov. 25. The winner of the 2013 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 12. The presentation will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 7, 2014.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes past performance and future potential. The club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2013 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, FBS head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.
The Maxwell Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence.