EA Sports College Football: Who Should Be On the Cover?

    EA Sports College Football is coming. That's for certain. What isn't certain is who will be the cover athlete, but we have opinions on the contenders.

    Our long national nightmare is soon to be over as college football fans have been starved of a video game to accompany their thirst for the sport for 10 years. However, EA Sports College Football is expected to launch in the summer of 2024. Among the many questions fans may have between now and then is who should be the iconic cover athlete? We have some opinions for you.

    Who Should Be On the Cover of EA Sports College Football?

    As the last cover athlete of the EA Sports NCAA Football franchise, Denard Robinson’s face has become synonymous with the game. NCAA 14, the 2014 version of the game is iconic, and its legacy lives on through the hoards of college football fans deprived of an updated version. They have remained devoted to maintaining its existence until a replacement arrives.

    The successor is rapidly approaching, although most would argue that EA Sports College Football isn’t arriving fast enough. There are still many questions to be answered for those fans. However, the announcement that actual college football players can feature in the game due to a NIL deal means we can now let our imaginations run wild as to who will be on the cover.

    Historically, quarterbacks have been the most well-represented among cover athletes, with 12 players used. EA Sports College Football could certainly feature a signal caller as the face of the rejuvenated franchise. Meanwhile, Michigan and USC tie for the lead in terms of most appearances by a team, and there are viable options from both of those storied franchises.

    In previous editions of the game, an athlete who no longer played college football in the year of release was the cover athlete. While we’ve included some players who fall into that category, the advent of NIL regulation allows for players who will still be playing college football to appear as the EA Sports College Football cover athlete.

    Caleb Williams, QB, USC

    The reigning Heisman Trophy winner will likely be in an NFL training camp by the time EA Sports College Football is released, but he checks a number of historical boxes for inclusion as the cover athlete. Quarterback? Check. Plays for USC? Check. Extremely popular yet polarizing athlete? Check, check, check.

    MORE: Pac-12 QB Rankings 2023 

    EA Sports College Football should want their cover athlete to epitomize everything good about offense in the sport, and Williams certainly does that. His off-script athleticism would make him an absolute weapon in a video game, while his arm talent to hit the deep third would make running “four verticals” an absolute dream.

    Grayson McCall, QB, Coastal Carolina

    Another quarterback who will be out of college by the time the EA Sports College Football game is released, Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall is an extremely marketable commodity. The mulleted magician has been one of the most entertaining players to watch in college football in recent years, while the Chanticleers’ off-field personality captured the national attention.

    Who doesn’t love playing some form of option football in video games? Coastal’s brand of option football that utilizes McCall’s dual-threat ability as a rusher and passer has been some of the best to watch in recent years. That should be celebrated by featuring the charismatic quarterback on the front cover of the EA Sports College Football video game.

    Quinshon Judkins, RB, Ole Miss

    Okay, let’s focus on some players who will still be playing college football when the EA Sports game releases in the summer of 2024. There wasn’t a true freshman in the nation who had the same impact last fall as Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins, and with the expectation that he’s only getting better, he could be the premier running back in 2024.

    Running back sits behind QB as the second most featured cover athlete in previous iterations of the new EA Sports College Football game. Judkins has the frame and strength to run the ball up the gut on “HB Wham” plays, can bounce outside with his long speed, and is a receiving threat out of the backfield. He’d be nearly unstoppable in a video game.

    Travis Hunter, WR/CB, Colorado

    Deion Sanders has made Colorado the talk of the college football world, and there might be nothing more profitable for EA Sports College Football than to cash in on some free marketing by featuring one of the Buffaloes players as the cover athlete. Shedeur Sanders would be most people’s choice, but let me tell you why Travis Hunter could become an iconic cover athlete.

    Let’s start with Hunter already being a college football revolutionary, a trend-setter if you will. His commitment to Jackson State was worldwide news, as was his subsequent transfer to Colorado. Yet, Hunter’s marketability lies in his true two-way talent. The skills he possesses as a wide receiver translate effortlessly into the defensive backfield.

    Arch Manning, QB, Texas

    Take one of the most recognizable football family names in the history of college football and the NFL, add it to a program that is amongst the most storied in the game, and combine it with a pinch of a big-money move to the SEC, and you have all the ingredients for one of the most lucrative and well-known cover athletes imaginable for EA Sports College Football.

    Arch Manning has a lot of pressure already on his shoulders, but there should be an expectation that he’s the leader of the Texas Longhorns as they transition to SEC football in 2024. He set high school passing records that had previously been held by Eli and Peyton Manning and is set to continue the family’s success when he assumes the starting job.

    Harold Perkins Jr., LB, LSU

    There have only been two previous cover athletes who were primarily defensive players, but that shouldn’t stop EA Sports College Football from deviating from the established norms when they select their face of the rejuvenated franchise. There probably isn’t a more well-known defensive player heading into the 2023 college football season than Harold Perkins Jr.

    In his true freshman season, Perkins played college football like I play defensive football on EA Sports’ other football franchise game — like a headless chicken. That’s not to be disrespectful, but he relied on his ferocity and athleticism rather than finessed technical nuance, and it made for an incredible spectacle. He’ll be even better this year and is a worthy cover contender.

    Frank Gore Jr., Offensive Weapon, Southern Miss

    Sign me all the way up for playing EA Sports College Football as Frank Gore Jr. The Southern Miss running back can run, he can catch, he can throw. He’s the epitome of a video game cheat code, and he’d be fun as hell to play with on every single down. Why shouldn’t the most fun player in the game be the cover athlete? Gore technically has eligibility for the 2024 season too.

    Big Red, Mascot, Western Kentucky

    One of the cover “athletes” for NCAA 2009 was a college football mascot, and if EA Sports College Football wants to lean into that historical element, there’s no mascot better for the job than ‘Big Red.’

    MORE: History of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Mascot

    The Western Kentucky mascot has been the face of the program for over 40 years, becoming one of the most beloved mascots in all of college. Nothing encapsulates the ludicrousness of college football pageantry more than a big, red, furry blob.

    Previous EA Sports College Football Cover Athletes

    • 2014: Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
    • 2013: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
    • 2012: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
    • 2011: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
    • 2010: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas; Brian Johnson, QB, Utah; Mark Sanchez, QB, USC; Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
    • 2009: DeSean Jackson, WR, California; Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College; Owen Schmitt, FB, West Virginia; Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas; Sparty, mascot, Michigan State
    • 2008: Jared Zabransky, QB, Boise State
    • 2007: Reggie Bush, RB, USC
    • 2006: Desmond Howard, WR, Michigan
    • 2005: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pittsburgh
    • 2004: Carson Palmer, QB, USC
    • 2003: Joey Harrington, QB, Oregon
    • 2002: Chris Weinke, QB, Florida State
    • 2001: Shaun Alexander, RB, Alabama
    • 2000: Ricky Williams, RB, Texas
    • 1999: Charles Woodson, DB, Michigan
    • 1998: Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida

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