CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — When Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was 13, his mother died. His father had been in prison since before he was born.
Football became the driving force in Cato's south Florida surroundings. He had a knack for throwing touchdowns but also for emotional outbursts. Few colleges offered him scholarships, yet he landed at Marshall, became a starter right away and has big expectations for a senior season that begins Saturday at Miami, Ohio.
Cato has a chance to overtake former first-round picks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich on the school's career passing lists. He says he's always considered himself a leader and wanted to become successful to make his mom proud.
He's also started a relationship with his dad, who's now out of prison.