Player News

Date:

Marshall HC Doc Holliday told Sports Illustrated's Inside Read that he believed senior QB Rakeem Cato is playing his best football of the season.

Cato has passed for 2,613 passing yards with 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He recently broke Russell Wilson's record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (Cato's streak currently sits at 62 straight games). Head coach Holliday said that Cato is playing smart football. "He’s getting us in the right checks, making the right reads on the run-pass option stuff and his decision-making has been unbelievable." Cato's a slight kid at just 6-foot-1, 176 pounds, but is still athletic enough to evade pressure. In terms of draftability, he needs to improve his mechanics and his footwork.
Nov 19 - 8:22 PM

Marshall junior RB Devon Johnson rushed 27 times for 199 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's win over Rice.

The big junior (6-foot-1, 243 pounds) had missed Marshall's last game with a knee injury, but he showed no signs of damage against Rice. Johnson was consistently able to bust through the defense for big plays. He averaged 7.2 YPC and his long went for 42 yards. This season, Johnson has rushed for 100+ yards in every game except for one. Johnson only just started running the ball this season, having converted from tight end over the summer.
Nov 15 - 6:22 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato completed 23-of-37 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday's 41-14 win over Rice.

Cato threw for touchdowns of two, 25, 30 and seven yards to give him 117 for his career. In the game, he surpassed Chad Pennington's school record for career TD passes (Pennington had 115). Cato did throw a pick, but he was mostly in control of his game. Cato has a nice arm and is good with the deep ball. When he struggles, it's generally with his mechanics and footwork.
Nov 15 - 6:10 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato completed 13-of-24 attempts and threw for 218 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 35-16 win over FAU.

The Owls led at halftime, and trailed by only five points at the start of the fourth quarter, but Marshall scored two touchdowns in the game's final 14 minutes to seal it. Cato has now thrown for a touchdown in 40 straight games, an NCAA record. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote earlier this week that Cato "has some likeable traits with his athleticism to evade pressure and arm talent to push the ball downfield," but suffers from "inconsistent mechanics, footwork and delivery motions."
Oct 25 - 7:41 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato "has some likeable traits with his athleticism to evade pressure and arm talent to push the ball downfield."

"However, his inconsistent mechanics, footwork and delivery motions can be maddening and his ball placement wavers too much, especially on the move," Brugler wrote. "Cato also lacks NFL size with a skinny frame and will likely go undrafted, projecting as a smaller, not as refined version of his childhood friend, Teddy Bridgewater." Last time out against FIU, Cato broke Russell Wilson's FBS record by throwing a touchdown in his 39th straight game. The Thundering Herd star has thrown for 1,912 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions in seven games this season.
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 21 - 11:27 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato completed 15-of-27 attempts and threw for 214 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in Saturday's 45-13 win over FIU.

In so doing, he broke Russell Wilson's FBS record by throwing for a touchdown in his 39th straight game. "It was a team effort for all 39 games and we still got more games to play," said Cato. The efficient and record-setting performance must have been sweet for the Miami native playing in his hometown. Cato has thrown for 1,912 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions in seven games this season. "How about Cato?" said Marshall coach Doc Holliday. "I mean, it's a record that may never be broken. That's a heck of a record. If anyone deserves it, that young man does. And to be able to come down here to Miami and do that in front of his family, 15 minutes from where he grew up, that was huge."
Oct 19 - 8:35 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato completed 17-of-33 attempts and threw for 337 yards with three touchdowns in Saturday's 49-24 win over Middle Tennessee State.

He ran for a fourth score. The Thundering Herd star has now thrown for a touchdown in 38 straight contests, matching Russell Wilson's FBS record (set between his time at N.C. State and Wisconsin). Cato doesn't have NFL size or arm strength, but he's got a decent chance at getting drafted if he continues to play well and shows well in the postseason All-Star circuit.
Oct 11 - 6:22 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato completed 18 of 23 attempts for 198 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the school's 56-14 win over Old Dominion.

Cato is another quarterback prospect who could earn a draftable grade based on a postseason all star game. The longtime starter does not have conventional size or a downfield arm, however.
Oct 4 - 4:46 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato completed 17-of-31 passes for 210 yards, one touchdown and one interception in Saturday's 48-17 thrashing of Akron.

Cato uncharacteristically struggled through the air -- this was the first time since October 12, 2013 that he didn't throw for at least two touchdowns, and he hadn't been held below 215 passing yards since 2011 -- so the Thundering Herd kept the ball on the ground and absolutely gutted Akron, rushing for 284 yards on 38 attempts (Cato himself had four carries for 23 yards and a pair of scores). Marshall has struggled in recent years on the road, but it's possible they've corrected their aversions to hotels, as this was the school's second road blowout of 2014. The Herd should be favored in every game left, but even a 13-0 finish and Conference USA Championship Game victory probably won't get them into the College Football Playoff.
Sep 20 - 6:26 PM

Speaking to NFL.com, an NFL personnel executive said Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato "makes people around him better and keeps adding to his game over the years."

"He said Cato will surprise you with his feet, too," the site added. The 6-foot, 188-pound Cato entered his senior season having already thrown for 10,176 yards and 91 touchdowns. He hasn't slowed down: Cato threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-14 win versus Ohio over the weekend. "With smaller quarterbacks having success and more opportunities in the NFL, Cato is coming along at the right time," NFL.com wrote. "His size will be an issue for some, but Cato will get a much better evaluation because of guys like Russell Wilson and Johnny Manziel than he might have received previously."
Source: NFL.com
Sep 18 - 6:29 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato completed 17 of 29 attempts for 425 yards, one interception and four touchdowns in the school's 44-14 win over Ohio.

Cato had long touchdown throws of 25 and 77 yards. Cato will likely receive some all star interest during draft season, possible from the East-West Shrine game.
Sep 13 - 4:53 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato completed 21 of 33 attempts for 264 yards and three touchdowns in the school's 42-27 win over Miami (OH).

Cato added another rushing touchdown. All three of the quarterback's passing touchdowns were on throws of 11 yards or less. Cato was sacked on multiple occasions out of an empty backfield, and his offensive line allowed pressure almost immediately on a few instances.
Aug 31 - 2:34 PM

CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd touted Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato as a small-school Heisman candidate.

Dodd's bigger argument is that non-BCS schools (Conference USA, Sun Belt, MAC, Mountain West and American) should have a separate Player of the Year award from the Power 5 conferences. Hawaii's Colt Brennan in 2007 and Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch in 2013 are the only players who have finished higher than fourth in the Heisman voting from outside the Power 5 conferences since 1998. The 6-foot, 188-pound Cato enters his senior season having already thrown for 10,176 yards and 91 touchdowns. He won't win the Heisman this year, but 4,000-plus passing yards and 40-plus throwing touchdowns aren't just realistic -- they are expected.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 7 - 1:27 PM

Marshall redshirt sophomore S A.J. Leggett has "flashed why he was so highly rated out of high school" while a member of the Thundering Herd, observes CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Leggett has embarked on a circuitous journey to find himself on the NFL's radar. He signed with Miami as a stud prep recruit, one of the top CBs in the nation, but academics cost him his scholarship. Leggett signed with the Thundering Herd and redshirted in 2012. He started only one game last year, but led the squad with four interceptions. Leggett is looking to hold a coming out party in 2014.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 19 - 9:40 PM

Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato reminds CBS Sports' Dane Brugler of "a smaller, not as refined version of Teddy Bridgewater."

"He has fierce competitive heart and has clearly matured since he arrived at Marshall, but the lack of size, inconsistent mechanics and overconfident arm hurt his NFL value. Cato reminds me of a smaller, not as refined version of Teddy Bridgewater," Brugler wrote. Marshall's four-year starter had a solid junior season, finishing with 3,916 passing yards and 45 total touchdowns (39 passing, 6 rushing). The 6-foot, 188 pound Cato, has thrown for more than 8,000 yards over the past two years.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 16 - 4:26 PM


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