By Gary Fauber
BECKLEY, W.Va. — To say Rakeem Cato had a tough life growing up would be putting it mildly.
He lost his mother when he was 12. He has yet to meet his father, and says he only recently considered starting lines of communication. He spent much of his childhood in Miami raised by his 14-year-old sister.
Like many players who had it rough like Cato, he was able to find an escape through football.
“When I’m on that football field, everything else just blacks out,” Marshall’s quarterback told the audience as one of the keynote speakers at Sunday’s Big Atlantic Classic Tip-Off Banquet.
More than 1,000 people braved streets and parking lots that were still a bit dicey from Saturday’s substantial snowfall to hear Cato and Marshall head coach Doc Holliday at the annual event. The two represented the Thundering Herd not quite a month removed from its 31-20 win over Maryland in the Military Bowl…