EA Sports College football is back! February 2, 2021 will live forever in the hearts and minds of college football fans. In the morning on that fateful Tuesday, EA Sports officially announced the return of their college football video game that has been on hiatus for nearly eight years.
The tweet heard round the world caused a stir, with football media, fans and gamers alike tweeting a storm about the return of the classic series. Notably absent from EA Sports’ announcement was the NCAA, who is responsible for the game being discontinued after lawsuits determined player likeness should be honored and paid. This means that the game will not feature any names, likenesses or trademarks related to the college football until NIL proceedings are completed to provide compensation for likeness.
Who features the cover of EA Sports College Football?
For now, fans are left in a stir, curious about what the game could be like and the features they will see. However, the biggest question is who will grace the cover of the long absent franchise? Being that the game will not return for a few years, there are a host of potential options to consider as the game is welcomed back with open arms. From past to present, here’s some options as to where EA Sports could go with the cover choice:
Feature DeVonta Smith, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner
Here’s a thought: Why not grace the cover with history? EA Sports is making history by rebooting their famous game, why not bring it back with history on the cover? Smith is the first non-quarterback or running back to win the trophy since defensive back Charles Woodson did in 1997. DeVonta Smith is also the first receiver to win it since Desmond Howard did in 1991. Talk about history made, especially since both of those legendary players were featured on the cover!
With the game coming out in two or three years, this feels highly unlikely, however.
Choose a future star quarterback
Could a current quarterback who becomes a star be the cover athlete? Over the course of the game’s history, the quarterback position has owned the cover 12 different times, which is more than any other position, making it entirely likely it is the path EA Sports chooses. A player like Spencer Rattler, the redshirt sophomore who starts for the ever-electric Oklahoma Sooners, could easily be a great choice in a couple years.
What about Clemson’s D.J. Uiagalelei, who looks to replace Trevor Lawrence? Bryce Young is another option, the future starter for the Alabama Crimson Tide, after starter Mac Jones declared for the draft. The signal caller is a classic choice, so EA Sports will have plenty of options to pick from.
Select several players to feature on each next-generation console’s edition
Another route the game could go is to feature a different cover athlete for each video gaming system the game launches for. EA Sports has done this before in both 2009 and 2010, so a return after missing so much time could be a great way to welcome the game back.
Choosing older, legendary college players, or current players, would absolutely be a winning way to reboot the game. Hopefully, something like this would welcome defensive players to the cover, a side of the ball featured only twice before with Charles Woodson and Brian Orakpo.
Place a legendary coach, like Nick Saban, on the cover
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One part of football that is often overlooked in the game is the coach. During the famous dynasty mode, gamers can create a coach (usually themselves) who works their way up the ranks from program to program, building dynasties. In the spirit of that fun mode, featuring a legend in coaching could be a great way to welcome the game back. Considering Nick Saban’s impressive record as both a winner and recruiter, he would be a no-brainer.
Feature an assortment of players who should have graced the cover since 2013
One final option for the cover idea that could be received very well is to feature players who could have been cover athletes had the “NCAA Football” franchise continued through today. Doing so would be a respectful way to honor the guys that never had a chance to make the cover, like last year’s Heisman Trophy winner and first overall NFL Draft pick Joe Burrow.
A cool design that features each player in an artistic, flashy way would probably be the best method of honoring the game, its fans, and the players that will, hopefully, be compensated for their hard work and sacrifice to make college football what it is by the time EA Sports College Football comes out.
Regardless of who the cover athlete is, fans will be ecstatic about the game returning and will no doubt dive right into its release. We at With the First Pick are just as excited and will no doubt be right there with fellow gamers once EA Sports College Football has returned.