It’s back! EA Sports announced that they will be reviving the beloved college football game under a re-worked title: EA Sports College Football. Due to the ever-changing landscape of the name, image, and likeness arguments, EA Sports is monitoring the developments. Due to this, it is extremely unlikely that we will get a new EA Sports College Football game in 2021.
Who Will Be the Face of the New EA Sports College Football Game?
Since its inception in 1997, there have been 12 quarterbacks, five running backs/fullbacks, four wide receivers, one defensive back, one defensive end, and a mascot. If there was going to be a game this year, names like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, etc would have great odds to grace the cover.
Since we will likely have to wait until at least 2022, who could be the first cover athlete since 2013’s NCAA Football ’14’s Denard Robinson?
Robinson came into Texas as a five-star recruit and showed early why. Just as a freshman, Robinson played in nine games and broke off for 703 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. He added 196 yards and two scores receiving. He has a legit shot at being the greatest Longhorn running back when it’s all said and done…and that’s saying something.
As it stands, Robinson has +2500 odds to win the 2021 Heisman Trophy. Considering the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, DeVonta Smith had worse than +5000 at this same point, anything can happen. If he can have a monster sophomore campaign and bring Texas back to where they should be, Robinson is a prime candidate to grace the front of EA Sports College Football.
You can’t have a conversation about the best college football players without mentioning the latest in a long line of great Oklahoma quarterbacks. Spencer Rattler, after some early season hiccups, has developed into one of the most dangerous signal-callers in the nation.
In his redshirt freshman year, Rattler passed for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns. He threw a touchdown in every single game and showed the world who he was in the biggest game of his young career against Florida in the Cotton Bowl. Rattler helped rattle off eight consecutive wins, starting with a 53-45 shootout in the Red River Showdown against Texas.
Give him another year in Lincoln Riley‘s system and look out. He could end up with a similar career to Baker Mayfield where he got better and better as each year passed, finally culminating with a Heisman. He’s currently the Heisman favorite with +300 odds.
Quite possibly the largest wild card candidate for the EA Sports College Football cover is Oregon defensive end, Kayvon Thibodeaux. Out of the 25 cover athletes, only two were defensive players. And of those two, one was a defensive end. It’s traditionally been an offensive player’s honor, but anything can happen.
If you only look at stat sheets and box scores, you probably haven’t paid much attention to Thibodeaux. This is fair because, in only 20 career games, he’s recorded 49 tackles, 12 sacks, and six pass deflections. What you don’t see when you do this is his overall influence on the game.
He’s ridiculously explosive and has garnered comparisons to Von Miller. Thibodeaux is the fourth-highest-rated defender returning in 2021. He lives in the opposition’s backfield, evident by his 23.5 tackles for loss. Teams gameplan around him and he still terrorizes. In terms of Heisman hype, he’s the longest shot of this list at +15000.
Time for guys who haven’t cemented their place in college football just yet. Let’s start with Alabama quarterback, Bryce Young. He does have a leg up on the final entry on this list since he’s actually attempted a pass. The heir-apparent to Mac Jones, Young will have an opportunity to become the third Alabama cover player for EA Sports College Football, but the first quarterback.
Young comes into Tuscaloosa as the number two overall player in the nation, and number one quarterback and overall player from California. As a recruit, he was lauded to have everything you want in a quarterback: poise, arm strength, accuracy, and leadership abilities. Alabama won with guys like A.J. McCarron and Greg McElroy, imagine what Young is going to do surrounded by all that talent. Yeesh.
Since this game is at least a year out, it’s good to speculate what young guys will be worth it. Considering 247Sports has compared Young to Russell Wilson, it’s fair to expect great things from the next stud Alabama quarterback.
As with Young, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding this last entry. Since the Ohio State quarterback position is up in the air for 2021, I have just grouped the three together. Whoever emerges victorious will have the opportunity to become the first Ohio State player to be honored as the EA Sports College Football cover athlete. Considering the weapons around them, it’s not outlandish to think each of them would find success.
Stroud is considered to be the frontrunner for the job. Considering he was the first man off the bench when Justin Fields got injured, it’s fair to assume he’s got the advantage. He was the number two pro-style quarterback out of high school. When you watch his film, he looks like a slightly smaller Justin Fields. Considering the success Fields had, Stroud has a golden opportunity to shine.
The only potential Buckeye quarterback with any Heisman odds at +2500 is Jack Miller. Miller left Arizona with over 10,000 passing yards and 130 total touchdowns. Miller is a master at slinging it around the field and would have been rated higher if he had not sustained injuries in high school.
Finally, Kyle McCord is an incoming freshman and is every bit as good as his hype suggests. A proven winner, McCord led his team to back-to-back-to-back state championships and holds Philadelphia city records for career passing yards and touchdowns.
Will You Play “Dynasty”? Will They Bring Back “Road To Glory?
I’m sure you could just throw a generic logo on the front of the game and millions would buy it. But what fun would that be? The honor of being the EA Sports College Football cover athlete just shows how big of a deal this is. Guys like Joe Burrow celebrated the announcement. However, he lamented that he always dreamed of being a cover athlete and of course “as soon as I graduate they bring it back.”