Marshall’s Cato Chosen as Walter Camp Award Semifinalist

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was named today as one of 15 semifinalists for the prestigious Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s best collegiate football player.


The Herd senior from Miami, who hold the NCAA’s FBS record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (42), was picked as one of 15 “Players to Watch” by the Walter Camp Foundation.


Cato, who has guided the No. 18-ranked Herd to a 10-0 start and a second straight Conference USA East Division title, is one of eight quarterbacks on the semifinalists list, and one of only two players from Group of Five programs.


Cato owns Marshall’s career records for pass attempts, completions and touchdowns, and needs 355 yards to surpass Chad Pennington’s career yardage mark. Cato has made 45 career starts for the Herd, which has had one of the nation’s top offenses the last three seasons with the Miamian at the controls.


Cato previously was named one of 20 semifinalists for the 2014 Maxwell Award. He also was named as one of 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and also as one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.


This season, Cato has the best passer rating of his career (161.73), ranking sixth nationally. He is 168-for-284 passing for 2,613 yards, with 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions.


In his career, he has 10 games of four or more passing TDs.


Cato is joined on the Walter Camp semifinalists’ list by Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins; Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, TCU quarterback Trevon Boykin; Alabama wideout Amari Cooper and quarterback Blake Sims; Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon; Louisville defensive back Gerod Holliman; Miami (Fla.) running back Duke Johnson; Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota; Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty; Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott; Washington running back/linebacker Shaq Thompson; Florida state quarterback Jameis Winston; and Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright.


Winston was the 2013 Walter Camp Award winner after leading FSU to the national championship game.


A list of five finalists will be announced Dec. 3. The 2014 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 Camp Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Jan. 17, 2015 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.

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 11 men per side.

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