July 19, 2013
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato, Conference USA’s 2013 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, was named to the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award Watch List on Friday by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
It is the junior’s fourth nomination to a preseason watch list, as the Miami native previously was selected to the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien and College Football Performance Awards lists.
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 (350.1). His 37 touchdown passes ranked third nationally, while his 69.5 completion rate was fourth and his 352.7 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 was one of 50 student-athletes named to the Walter Camp list.
“We are proud to continue the great work of Walter Camp and recognize the best college football players in the nation,” Camp Foundation president James Monico said. “This watch list is a great start to what is shaping up to be another exciting year of college football.”
The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists in mid-November. The 2013 Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 125 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. The winner will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on Dec. 12. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Jan. 11, 2014 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
NATIONAL AWARD WATCH LISTS:
Walter Camp Player of the Year Award – Rakeem Cato, QB
Maxwell Award – Cato
Biletnikoff Award – Tommy Shuler, WR
Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award – Cato
John Mackey Award – Gator Hoskins, TE
Ray Guy Award – Tyler Williams, P
College Football Performance Awards – Cato; Hoskins; Shuler; Williams; Jeremiah Taylor, DE; Jermaine Holmes, LB; Justin Haig, PK.
ALL-AMERICA (magazines, websites):
Honorable Mention – Shuler.
ALL-CONFERENCE USA (league coaches, magazines, websites):
First team -- Cato (also Offensive Player of the Year); Shuler; Hoskins; Williams.
Phil Steele’s Preview:
First team – Cato; Shuler; Hoskins; Chris Jasperse, C; Taylor; D.J. Hunter, S; Williams.
Second team – Devon Smith, WR; Holmes.
Third team – Kevin Grooms, RB; Gage Niemeyer, OT; Alex Bazzie, DE.
Fourth team – Josh Lovell, OG; Brandon Sparrow, DT; Kent Turene, LB; Derrick Thomas, CB.
First team – Cato; Shuler; Hoskins; Jasperse; Sparrow; Williams.
Second team – Jeffries; Bazzie.
First team – Cato (also Offensive Player of Year); Hoskins; Bazzie.
Second team – Shuler; Jordan Jeffries, OT; Grooms; Holmes; Hunter; Williams.
Firat team – Cato (also Offensive Player of Year); Hoskins; Jeffries.
Second team – Shuler; Taylor; Hunter; Williams.
Third team – Jasperse; Bazzie; Holmes.
First team – Cato; Hoskins; Williams.
Honorable Mention – Shuler; Jeffries.
Frist team – Cato; Shuler; Hoskins; Jasperse; Williams.
Honorable Mention – Grooms, Taylor, Hunter.
First team – Cato; Shuler; Hoskins; Holmes; Hunter; (no kick specialists on team).