HUNTINGTON – With quarterback Rakeem Cato primed for his senior season and Marshall football forecast for significant national attention, the Thundering Herd today launched an official “CatoIn14” Heisman Trophy campaign for the MU star.
Cato 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. The Herd is picked to win its first C-USA title this season, and there are some forecasting a major bowl bid for Cato & Co.
The Miami native is named on numerous national award watch lists and is poised to break MU passing records owned by Herd legends Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich.
The initial launch of the Cato campaign features the CatoIn14.com website with video highlights and features, biographical information, statistics, records and more. Along with the website, all Cato information on Twitter can be found on @HerdZone or @HerdFB.
The CatoIn14.com site features a video player that outlines one touchdown from every game during Cato’s 32-game streak of consecutive outings with a TD pass. He leads all active FBS players. The FBS record is 38 by Russell Wilson (2009-11 at N.C. State; 2011 at Wisconsin).
“What Rakeem has accomplished in his three seasons at Marshall speaks for itself,” Herd coach Doc Holliday said. “His maturing as a person and as a player is obvious to all of those in our program and those who follow the Herd closely.
“He is a special player, and a big reason we are able to embrace the expectations others have for us this season. I’m sure every coach in America would love to have a leader like Rakeem on his team.”
Cato also is featured on several billboards in the Tri-State area, and there will be a special promotion dedicated to the star quarterback during one of the Herd’s home games this season.
In 39 games in three seasons, Cato has hit 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 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.