Aug. 2, 2013
NEW ORLEANS -- Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was named to the Manning Award Watch List, the Sugar Bowl announced Friday morning.
It is the junior's fifth nomination to a preseason watch list, as the Miami native previously was selected to the Maxwell, Walter Camp, Davey O'Brien and College Football Performance Awards lists.
He also was named by Conference USA coaches last month as the 2013 preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
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 30 quarterbacks named to the Manning list.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting. The winner will still be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
"This is always an exciting time of year for college football players, coaches and fans," Archie Manning said. "ESPN has come up with an interesting new statistical measure of quarterbacks so we decided to use the QBR to determine our Watch List, but we want to remind everyone that every quarterback in the country remains eligible to win this honor and we're looking forward to seeing how things play out on the field."
"We have had the opportunity to recognize nine outstanding quarterbacks with the Manning Award," said Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO. "It is truly a great honor for the Allstate Sugar Bowl to sponsor this award and we wish the best of luck to every quarterback and team in the country for another great year of college football."
Additional quarterbacks may be added to the Watch List after the start of the season. The list of 10 finalists will be named on Nov. 27. The winner will be announced Jan. 8, 2014.
NATIONAL AWARD WATCH LISTS:
Walter Camp Player of the Year Award - Rakeem Cato, QB
Maxwell Award - Cato
Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award - Cato
Manning Award - Cato
Biletnikoff Award - Tommy Shuler, WR
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).