"I remember when he first got here," Holliday said. "He'd get frustrated if he wouldn't get a first down or a touchdown. I realized then how competitive he was.
"I started to realize he's as competitive as any player I've ever coached or been around, and I've been around some good ones: Tim Tebow, Philip Rivers and Jeff Hostetler. I don't know if I've been around anyone as competitive as Rakeem."
"I've become more of a leader," Cato said. "I'm talking more to my teammates. I watch more film."
On Saturday, after being replaced with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter, Cato helped backup Blake Frohnapfel.
"I kept telling him to keep his eyes open," Cato said. "I told him everything that was open on film was open here. I told him to watch the linebackers."
Cato knew of what he spoke. The junior helped set the tone early by hitting Gator Hoskins for a 27-yard score on the Herd's first play from scrimmage. (It was set up by a Brandon Sparrow fumble recovery.)
Cato rolled right on the next possession and hit Craig Wilkins for a TD. In his most impressive toss of the day, Cato rolled right on the Herd's next possession, seemingly was headed out of bounds, yet threw a strike across the field to Davonte Allen from 23 yards out.
Don't misunderstand. His day wasn't perfect. There was a fumble. Also, on a Kevin Grooms rush, Cato could have thrown a lead block - but backed off.
"Yeah," Cato said with a smile. "I try not to do too much. I was just trying to slow the [tackler] down."
Overall, though, he's been helping MU rev up. His arm seems stronger. His throws are tighter.
"Ever since my first [Southern Miss game] I've had a rhythm," Cato said. "I've been working on my craft."
And the kid's become quite the artist.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.