Nov 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) scrambles during the third quarter against the UCLA Bruins at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Five Potential Cover Athletes for the NCAA Football Franchise

After a long hiatus, NCAA Football is finally set to return to the next-generation video game consoles in late 2024. It will be the highly anticipated successor to NCAA Football 14, released in June 2013. The game was paused due to legal issues concerning players’ name, image, and likeness. With the evolution of NIL and college players now receiving compensation, plans were implemented in 2021 to continue the franchise. Now that the franchise is officially back in action, let’s look at five potential cover athletes for the next installment of NCAA Football.

Five Potential Cover Athletes for the NCAA Football Franchise

5) Joe Burrow

With the NCAA franchise on hiatus for over a decade, EA Sports missed the opportunity for many memorable covers. Joe Burrow was one of the most polarizing college athletes over the last 10 years and his presence would give the developers a chance to right a wrong and put one of the many athletes they missed front and center on the first new game of the revitalized franchise.

4) Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is one of the most recognizable college athletes of all time. His leadership and remarkable performance on the field make him a role model for athletes everywhere. In honor of his upcoming Hall of Fame induction and legacy as a college football quarterback, Tebow’s return to the cover would be a fitting tribute to his contributions to the sport.

3) Marvin Harrison Jr

Now that the throwback players are out of the way let’s go to a current player. Marvin Harrison Jr. is one of the best wide receivers in college football. Along with Emeka Egbuka, Harrison is a leader of the Ohio State Buckeyes and a big reason for the team’s sustained success over the past several seasons. With quarterbacks often gracing the cover, Marvin Harrison would be a significant change of pace and will undoubtedly be a name to watch when the new game launches next year.

2) Shedeur Sanders

Shedeur Sanders made waves this year by transferring to Colorado after a successful stint at Jackson State University. He joined the Buffaloes alongside his brother, Shilo Sanders, to play for his father, Deion Sanders, one of the most polarizing athletes in sports history. Colorado generated a lot of buzz due to their terrific start to the 2023 season. While they couldn’t sustain this success throughout the year, Shedeur Sanders established himself as a household name in the NCAA. He threw for 27 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions while rushing for 4 touchdowns. Sanders’ flashy style, combined with his family legacy and image, makes him a popular choice for the next cover of NCAA Football.

1) Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams has had an exceptional college career and is one of the most intriguing prospects in recent history. Through three collegiate seasons, Williams has thrown for 93 touchdowns through the air and has added 27 scores on the ground. His best season came in 2022 when he posted 52 touchdowns with a rating of 168.5. It is currently unknown if Williams will return to the sidelines in 2024, but as it stands, he has the potential to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft, with many NFL teams interested in his talent. While Williams has been vocal about receiving compensation from EA Sports in addition to a flat fee, it remains to be seen if the NCAA can work out these issues with student-athletes. If they can, Williams has a shot as one of the biggest stars in college football to be the face of the franchise’s return.

Excitement is in the air for the return of the NCAA Football Franchise. With mixed reviews in recent years for EA Sports’ Madden Franchise, NCAA Football has the potential to jumpstart the brand’s reputation and revolutionize sports video games as we know it. As this excitement builds, the choice of cover athlete also carries significant weight. Whether it’s a throwback star like Tebow or Burrow or a current standout like Harrison, Sanders, and Williams, each candidate brings a unique story and dynamic to the franchise’s next chapter.

Main Image: © Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

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