Who Will be on the Cover of EA Sports' College Football 25’? (2024)

In 1993, EA Sports released Bill Walsh College Football, and, for the first time, brought the college football field to video game consoles – the Sega Genisis to be specific. Undergoing two rebrands, first to College Football USA in the 1996 installment of the franchise, and then to the now legendary NCAA Football title which began in 1998, EA Sports’ had football fans eager to purchase their annual instalment for two decades. In 2013, the company released its final title in the franchise, NCAA Football 14.

To the major disappointment of fans of the NCAA Football series, rulings in the O’Bannon and Keller cases held that the unpaid representation of student-athletes Name, Image, and Likeness in the game by EA Sports was not protected by law. With restrictions in place by the NCAA that forbid payment to student-athletes for their publicity rights, there was no way to continue the franchise.

Now, in the wake of the change to NCAA Name, Image, and Likeness policy in 2021, student-athletes can monetize their publicity rights, much akin to their professional counterparts. In short, this means that the game is back on, so long as the athletes receive a cut. With a highly anticipated release this summer, EA Sports College Football 25’ will mark the rebirth and rebranding of the series after an eleven-year hiatus.

Recent developments have shown that included in the upcoming game will be a return of the highly touted Dynasty Mode, as well as the implementation of an Ultimate Team mode, reported to have legendary players of the past as playable characters.

The hype for this game could not be higher. Now, with athletes receiving NIL compensation for their appearance in the game, another question looms: Who will be on the cover? And will the honor be accompanied by a significant NIL payday?

Last year, EA Sports reported that they intend to have a current athlete take the cover of the game, since then, nothing has been heard in regards to what now appear to be top secret plans. Will they stay true to their original mindset, most likely, given a longstanding tradition of cover athlete being playable in game.

Here are the five most likely candidates to grace the cover of EA Sports College Football 25:

1. Shedeur Sanders (and potentially a Coach Prime and Travis Hunter cameo)

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This pick speaks for itself. Getting a CU Buffalo on the cover will be yet another externality of the Coach Prime effect. Currently boasting the highest On3 NIL valuation for college football players, it is empirically sound to say that Shadeur is the most valuable man in the game. Pair his high NIL Net worth and celebrity status with his 2025 NFL Draft stock, and Shadeur is a pick that nobody would be surprised to see. Could we see a joint cover with his father? Maybe Coach Prime, Shadeur, and Travis Hunter? I’m not sure, the NIL money needed for that cover may be too high of a price tag, even for EA Sports.

2. Quinn Ewers

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Recently the University of Texas quarterback announced he would be returning under center for the upcoming season, forgoing the NFL draft. As one of two quarterbacks returning after a College Football Playoff appearance, he is in a prime position to leverage his previous season’s success and build anticipation for what lies ahead. With Texas being cemented as No.2 in ESPN’s way too early 2024 ranking, choosing the Longhorn signal caller can help EA Sports leverage one of the biggest brands in the sport and select a player in good standing to become this coming years’ College Football Playoff champion.

3. Donovan Edwards

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Balancing hype for the upcoming season and using the recent memories of an incredible 2023-2024 College Football season is a tall task. If Michigan is to be highlighted for their run to the championship, all roads lead to one player, Donovan Edwards. The Michigan running back’s performance in the championship game was nothing short of legendary. With two touchdown rushes over forty yards each in the first quarter, his historic performance paved the way for the eventual champions. Mock drafts have Edwards as one of the top running back prospects in 2025 class. While Edwards lacks the star power others on this list have, if EA decides to leverage the success and iconic brand of Michigan football, there is no better representative.

4. Nick Saban / Jalen Milroe

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It is fair to say that Nick Saban is the greatest college football coach of all time. With his surprising and rather unceremonious retirement, there is continued need to honor the career of a man eternally etched into American sporting history – and what better way to cement that legacy than with the cover of the most anticipated football video game of all time. Call me crazy, but maybe the 2026 edition of the game will be called Saban College Football 26’

To make good on the philosophy of including a current player, Jalen Milroe should also be included in the cover. Milroe, like Ewers, is the other returning quarterback who played in last year’s College Football Playoff and one of the most famous names in the sport.

5. Heisman Winners from 2013 to 2023

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Abandoning the previously mentioned desire to include athletes currently playing, EA Sports could restore a cover to all athletes who never got their chance to be spotlighted by the franchise during their collegiate playing days. This can serve as both fan service and an acknowledgment of past players achievements; a way for EA Sports to apologize to players and fans alike for their decade long hiatus.

With legends being included in the Ultimate Team feature, what better way to highlight the game mode than with legendary players like Jameis Winston, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, and Derrick Henry, and Devonta Simth on the cover. With licensing agreements already rumored to have started for these former college stars to appear in Ultimate Team mode, it would be unsurprising to find out that this cover is already in the works.

Who Will be on the Cover of EA Sports' College Football 25’? (2024)
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