Marshall’s Rakeem Cato among 20 Maxwell Semifinalists

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Rakeem Cato, Marshall’s senior quarterback who owns the NCAA major college football record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, was named Monday as one of 20 semifinalists for the 2014 Maxwell Award.


The Maxwell Club of Philadelphia revealed the 20 names. The Maxwell is presented annually to the Collegiate Player of the Year. The 2014 award will be the 78th annual Maxwell.


Cato is one of 12 quarterbacks and one of eight seniors among the 20 semifinalists. He is the only player from the Group of Five conferences remaining as a Maxwell candidate.


Cato, of Miami, has engineered the No. 22/23-ranked Thundering Herd to an 8-0 start (4-0 Conference USA) as he closes in on Marshall career passing records belonging to Chad Pennington (1995; 1997-99). This season, Cato is 132-of-228 passing for 2,130 yards. He has thrown for 20 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions. He also has rushed for 255 yards and 5 scores, including a 63-yard run.


He has extended his FBS record for consecutive games with a TD pass to 40 as Marshall visits Southern Miss for a C-USA game Saturday night. Cato snapped the 38 consecutive games set by Russell Wilson at NC State and Wisconsin last month with a scoring pass to tight end Ryan Yurachek in an Oct. 18 win at FIU – in the quarterback’s hometown.


Cato was on numerous preseason All-Conference USA lists and was been named the league’s top player by most magazines and websites. He was voted by C-USA coaches as the 2014 Preseason C-USA Offensive Player of the Year.


In 47 career games, Cato has completed 1,005-of-1,591 passes (63.2 percent) and 110 touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 176-pound QB also has rushed for an additional 580 yards and 12 scores.


He was the 2012 C-USA Most Valuable Player and the 2013 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year. A website devoted to the Herd quarterback’s Heisman Trophy candidacy – – made its debut in August.


The winner of the 78th Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will be broadcast on ESPN on Dec. 11. Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 24, and a second round of voting will take place at that time.


The formal presentation of the Maxwell will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's 78th Awards Gala on March 13, 2015 at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.  Semifinalist voting will begin this Thursday and close Nov. 23. Eligible voters include Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA head football coaches, sports information directors and selected national media.

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