Marshall's Cato, Rice's Gaines Named to Walter Camp Award Watch List
July 19, 2013
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Marshall junior quarterback Rakeem Cato and Rice senior defensive back Phillip Gaines have been named to the preseason watch list for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award, as announced Friday by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Fifty “players to watch” were selected for the preseason list for the nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.
Cato, the C-USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year who last season was the first underclassman 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. Cato also led the league in pass efficiency (147.1). His 66.2 percent 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).
Gaines, the C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was a consensus All-Conference USA selection in 2012 and a member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football's postseason All-Texas College team after he led C-USA and was second nationally with 18 pass breakups.The Converse, Texas, native led the conference and was tied for eighth nationally with 1.50 passes defended per game. Gaines' PBU total in 2012 was seven more than his career total coming into the season and is already the most in school history. The 29 PBUs also are tied for the 10th-most in NCAA history since the statistic was first tracked in 2003.
The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November. The 2013 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 125 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter Thursday, December 12. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet January 11, 2014, at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Walter Camp Award or be named to the All-American team.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation (www.waltercamp.org) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
The Walter Camp Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.