"It doesn't take Cato a whole lot to get excited about competing," Marshall Coach Doc Holliday said earlier this season.
"That's just him. He'll be out there today in practice competing as hard as he can because that's the mindset he brings. I think Cato is a better quarterback this year than he was a year ago. Our offense is much more productive than it was a year ago. He's become a more complete and better quarterback."
Tindal posted 55 tackles, five for a loss, with six pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. With him in the lineup, the Herd vaulted from the bottom of the FBS defensive rankings to near the top. He was named to the conference all-freshman team and earned honorable mention on the all-C-USA team.
"It's a great feeling just to be part of a team and contributing toward a win," Tindal said last week. "There's no better feeling than that. It's just awesome."
Marshall running back Kevin Grooms won the freshman of the year award outright in 2012.
Cato and Tindal's honors were the fifth and sixth individual awards Marshall has won in Conference USA. On top of Marshall's 2012 awards, former defensive end Vinny Curry was named the 2011 defensive player of the year, while former defensive lineman Albert McClellan shared the 2006 defensive player of the year award with Tulsa linebacker Nick Bunting.
Tulsa linebacker Shawn Jackson was named 2013 defensive player of the year, while North Texas return specialist Brelan Chancellor was named special teams player of the year and Florida Atlantic sophomore quarterback Jaquez Johnson was named newcomer of the year. David Bailiff, who led Rice to a C-USA title game win over Marshall and a berth in the Liberty Bowl, was named conference coach of the year.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.