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Herd’s Cato Named to Johnny Unitas Award List
Cato, whose Heisman Trophy campaign – CatoIn14 – was rolled out by Marshall Athletics (CatoIn14.com website) on Tuesday, previously has been named to watch lists for the Maxwell, Walter Camp and Davey O’Brien National Quarterback awards. The Maxwell and Camp awards go to the collegiate national player of the year.
The Unitas Golden Arm Award goes to the nation’s top senior quarterback. Alabama’s AJ McCarron won the 2013 award. The award has been presented since 1987.
Named for Unitas, the Baltimore Colts’ legendary Pro Football Hall of Famer, the award is presented by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.
In addition to honoring a player with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Baltimore-based foundation has awarded more than $525,000 in scholarships to deserving scholar-athletes from local area high schools both in Maryland and Kentucky (where Unitas played collegiately, at Louisville).
The 2014 Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented Dec. 12 at the foundation’s annual dinner in Baltimore.
Cato, from Miami, enters the 2014 season as the preseason Conference USA Player of the Year after leading the Herd to a 10-4 season in 2013, capped by a Military Bowl victory over Maryland.
In 39 games in three seasons, Cato has completed 886-of-1,387 passes (63.9 percent) for 10,176 yards and 91 touchdowns. In the red zone, he has thrown for 58 touchdowns with only one interception. The 6-foot, 188-pound QB also has rushed for an additional 357 yards and 7 scores.
He was the 2012 C-USA Most Valuable Player and the 2013 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year. Cato is poised to break MU passing records owned by Herd legends Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich.
Cato and the Herd open the 2014 season at Miami (Ohio) on Aug. 30, in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff (ESPN3), and play the first of six regular-season home games on Sept. 6 against Rhode Island in a 7 p.m. start.