MU players make list
HUNTINGTON -- Watch out for Marshall!
That’s the message the Maxwell Award, Bednarik Award and College Football Performance Awards sent to Thundering Herd opponents that have to face Marshall during the upcoming 2014 football season.
All three awards named Marshall standouts to their respective watch lists on Monday.
The honorees included quarterback Rakeem Cato, defensive lineman James Rouse and running back Stew Butler.
The trifecta began with Cato. The 6-foot, 188-pound senior Heisman Trophy candidate was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, which honors the College Player of the Year.
It was no surprise that the Miami, Fla., native was named to the list, considering his credentials.
Cato already has been named to numerous All-Conference USA lists compiled by national publications and on-line web sites, as well as being projected as C-USA’s player of the year by several outlets.
Then, there are Cato’s eye-popping statistics.
Besides having 10,176 career passing yards and 91 career touchdown passes, Cato has thrown a touchdown pass in 32 consecutive games.
That puts him just six behind the Football Bowl Subdivision record of 38 straight games by Russell Wilson, who now quarterbacks the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks
Rouse's selection to the Bednarik Award Watch List, which is presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year, also was no surprise.
The 6-5, 268-pound sixth-year senior was voted Marshall’s 2013 season Most Valuable Player by his teammates in recognition of his leadership both on the field and off. The defensive tackle had 14 tackles for loss during the 2013 season including six sacks.
Rouse was a key player on a defense that made the biggest one-season improvement in FBS scoring defense (20.2-point improvement) since 1998.
Finally, Butler was selected as a nominee for the College Football Performance Awards running back trophy.
The 5-9, 178-pound junior running back ranked second on the team during the 2013 season with 765 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. He averaged 8.8 yards per carry, which ranked him No. 3 in the country.
Although the Lakeland, Fla., native will be competing against Kevin Grooms for Marshall’s starting running back job,
Butler was chosen preseason All-Conference USA by Lindy’s Sports, Phil Steele’s 2014 Preview and The Sporting News. TSN also named Butler as C-USA’s most elusive running back. The College Football Performance Awards is in its seventh season of player and team performance recognition, broken down by offense, defense, and special teams.
Cato, Rouse, Butler and their Marshall teammates will open the season at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 against Miami (Ohio) in Oxford, Ohio.
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