Marshall's Rakeem Cato Earns Manning Award Quarterback of the Week Honor park
Rakeem Cato, a senior from Marshall, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the win over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
Cato, a Miami, Fla. native, tallied his fifth career 400-yard game, collecting 77 of those yards on a third-quarter touchdown strike for his 100th career passing touchdown, as the Thundering Herd remained perfect with a 44-14 win over Ohio. Cato's streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass is now at 35, which leads active FBS quarterbacks. The NCAA record of 38 belongs to Russell Wilson (N.C. State and Wisconsin, 2009-11).
Cato now has 64 red zone touchdown passes, with just two interceptions. Nationally, the 6-foot-1, 176-pound senior ranks in the top five in yards per completion (5th, 18.33) and scoring responsibility (5th, 66 points). He was featured as a "longshot" candidate in Sports Illustrated's preseason College Football Preview edition. He was also the subject of an excellent ESPN Game Day feature this past Saturday. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n05xRojLuao)
The Thundering Herd goes back on the road this week to take on Akron with a 1 p.m. CT kickoff on ESPN3.
Cato's top competitors this week were Shane Carden of East Carolina University and West Virginia's Clint Trickett. Carden not only registered his fourth career 400-yard game, but he also set the school-record for career TD passes and ran for the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of a 28-21 upset of No. 17 Virginia Tech on the road. Trickett drove the Mountaineers 65 yards in the final 2:35 to set up the game-winning field goal while also tallying his first career 500-yard performance in a thrilling back-and-forth win over Maryland, 40-37.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor 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.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, all quarterbacks remain eligible for the honor. The 10 finalists for the honor will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 12.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its 11th winner this year. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, at the time, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn's Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. The 2012 honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins). The 2013 and 2014 winners were also the first freshmen to collect the honor – in 2013, it was Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, and he was followed by last year's winner, Jameis Winston from Florida State. Both freshmen also collected the Heisman Trophy after their sensational debut seasons.