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 looking to capitalize and get back into the game.
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?
Texas has produced two of the cover athletes: Vince Young and Ricky Williams. In his freshman year, Robinson earned playing time early.
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.
After yet another strong campaign as a sophomore, Robinson is a top candidate for the 2022 Heisman. If he can have a monster junior campaign and bring Texas back to where they should be, Robinson is a prime candidate to grace the front of EA Sports College Football.
Young came 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.
A Heisman Trophy later and Young is considered by many as the top quarterback in College Football and in line to be the first-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
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 continue to expect great things from the stud Alabama quarterback.
The latest in a long line of prolific passers in the Ohio State program, Stroud 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 him, it’s not outlandish to think he could surpass Young as the top quarterback in the nation in 2022.
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. It took him a second to get acclimated to the college game. After sitting out the Akron game to heal from a busted shoulder, Stroud took over as one of the most explosive players in the game.
After finishing with 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns — which includes his insane Rose Bowl where he went 37/46, 573 yards, and six touchdowns — Stroud finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting. If that bowl game is any indication, Ohio State’s offense is going to be even better in 2022…and that’s saying something.
Due to the fact that EA Sports has gone years without a game, there have been calls for players who should have gotten the honor to be featured. Now, this could be in addition to or in place of one of the above athletes. For example, if we look at Heisman Trophy winners:
NCAA Football ’15 (released in 2014, etc): Jameis Winston
NCAA Football ’16: Marcus Mariota
NCAA Football ’17: Derrick Henry
NCAA Football ’18: Lamar Jackson
NCAA Football ’19: Baker Mayfield
NCAA Football ’20: Kyler Murray
NCAA Football ’21: Joe Burrow
NCAA Football ’22: DeVonta Smith
NCAA Football ’23: Bryce Young
Plenty of talent to pick from. If we are looking at the most prolific players in that timeframe, it would have to be Burrow. Considering how legendary that 2019 LSU team, you could even have a cover with Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Justin Jefferson. All three have gone on to dominate in the NFL.
Another option posited by fans is to allow fans to pre-order the game and have a broad selection of athletes or schools to choose from. That would allow EA Sports to continue to generate hype as well as provide fans with exactly what they want.
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.”
Who will join the prestigious ranks shared by legends like Tommie Frazier, Reggie Bush, Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, and Sparty? Just discussing the options has college football fans hyped!