July 17, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was named to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List Wednesday morning by the Davey O'Brien Foundation.
It is the junior's third nomination to a preseason watch list, as he was previously selected to the Maxwell 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 (350.08). 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 was one of 34 quarterbacks named to Wednesday's list.
Two former Herd quarterbacks were Davey O'Brien Award candidates. Pennington was one of three finalists for the 1999 honor, while Leftwich was one of 14 O'Brien semifinalists in 2002.
This year's O'Brien list, which was compiled by a subset of the Davey O'Brien National Selection Committee, features 34 of the nation's best college quarterbacks, who were selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2013 college football season.
Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Davey O'Brien Award. Quarterbacks from all 125 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible for the award until the field is narrowed to 16 semifinalists on Nov. 4. The Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce three finalists on Nov. 25.
The 2013 Davey O'Brien winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12. The 37th Annual Davey O'Brien Awards Dinner will be held Feb. 17, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.
AWARD WATCH LISTS:
Biletnikoff Award - Tommy Shuler, WR
Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award - Rakeem Cato, QB
Maxwell Award - Cato
John Mackey Award - Gator Hoskins, TE
Ray Guy Award - Tyler Williams, P
College Football Performance Awards - Cato; Hoskins; Shuler; Jeremiah Taylor, DE; Jermaine Holmes, LB; Justin Haig, PK; Williams.
ALL-AMERICA (magazines, websites):
Honorable Mention - Shuler.
ALL-CONFERENCE USA (magazines, websites):
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).