EA Sports Officially Announces Cover Athletes for ‘College Football 25’ Video Game

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, Colorado two-way athlete Travis Hunter and Michigan running back Donovan Edwards will be featured on the game cover set to be released on July 19.
Quinn Ewers, Travis Hunter and Donovan Edwards are the cover athletes for the upcoming EA Sports College Football 25 video game.
Quinn Ewers, Travis Hunter and Donovan Edwards are the cover athletes for the upcoming EA Sports College Football 25 video game. / Provided by EA Sports

Electronic Arts is set to release its first college football video game since July 2013 on July 19, and the brand announced the names of the three athletes who will grace the cover for the return of the iconic franchise.

Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers, Colorado Buffaloes two-way athlete Travis Hunter and Michigan Wolverines running back Donovan Edwards will be cover athletes for EA Sports College Football 25.

When Ewers got the call, he said he couldn’t believe he was going to represent his school in the return of the college football video game.

“It was a pretty surreal moment honestly,” Ewers says. “Being able to be picked as one of the three to be on the official cover. Just super excited to be able to represent the university as a whole on the cover and just bring more and more fans to college football in general and even the Longhorns.”

Michigan has a long history of cover athletes on the EA Sports game, from Charles Woodson in NCAA Football 99 to Desmond Howard on NCAA Football 06 and most recently, Denard Robinson on NCAA Football 14. Edwards now has a chance to leave his own imprint.

“I was definitely overfilled with joy,” Edwards says. “Michigan has a representation of players being on the cover of the game, so just to be able to be selected by EA to represent not only my program, but the company as well, it’s definitely a surreal moment, especially being a kid who played the game growing up as well. … My best moments came from playing NCAA 14, so just for it to be back, as well as to be on the cover of it, it’s an awesome feeling and I’m very grateful to EA for allowing me to represent them and the University of Michigan.”

When Robinson found out that Edwards was going to be a cover athlete, the Michigan running back said Robinson might have been even more excited than he was.

“Denard, when he found out, he was so loud,” Edwards says. “I think he was more happy for me at that time than when he was selected than he was for himself because he’s a humble person.”

The release of the new college football game has been long anticipated since production of the franchise was halted following NCAA 14. The reason for the decade-long pause was due to multiple legal actions regarding college football players’ name, image and likeness (NIL) being used in the video games without payment to the athletes. At the time production of the game was paused 11 years ago, players were not allowed to be paid for being featured in the video game due to NCAA amateurism rules.

After a 10-year hiatus, the EA Sports College Football 25 video game will be released in July.
After a 10-year hiatus, the EA Sports College Football 25 video game will be released in July. / Provided by EA Sports

Fast forward to 2024. Players now have the ability to sign NIL deals and profit off of their individual brands without jeopardizing their amateur status with the NCAA, allowing for the game to return after 11 years on the shelf.

So did NIL payments play a role for Ewers, Hunter and Edwards in accepting the opportunity from EA? Not a chance.

“I was more focused on being on the cover. I didn’t care about the NIL,” Hunter says. “It was one of our dreams, man. It was a dream come true.”

“When I think of a moment like this, there’s not really an amount of money that I’d say no or yes to,” Ewers says. “I think it’s more about the influence it’s going to have. It’s going to be such a big game worldwide and throughout the United States. Just being on the cover itself is plenty enough for me to not even worry about the NIL aspect of it all.”

“There’s no amount of money that played into an opportunity like this,” Edwards says.

Being a cover athlete for a sports video game that is as popular as EA Sports’s college football franchise comes with a great deal of responsibility.

“For me, it was super exciting,” Hunter says of the opportunity. “Being the first from Colorado and the first from where I’m from in West Palm Beach, Fla., to be on the front of the cover. I got a lot of little kids looking up to me. My little brother and siblings … it was just a surreal moment and I’m super excited.”

Hunter embraces being a role model for future generations, something he doesn’t take for granted.

“It means a lot to me,” Hunter says. “Once I was that kid looking up to everybody that I look up to still to this day. I know that I gotta keep my head down and stay humble and stay focused. I gotta continue to work so let the kids know that you gotta continue to work and as long as you’re humble and chase your dream, you can fulfill everything that you want to fulfill.”

Ewers feels the same way.

“I think it’s an honor,” he says. “Just the influence it’s going to have on the younger generation coming up. They’re going to remember all three of us because we were the first guys on the cover to kinda bring it back after [NCAA Football 14], so to be on the cover for the first time in 10 years is going to be really cool. It’s going to influence the younger generation.”

Where does being a cover athlete rank for each player on the list of their athletic accomplishments?

“It’s gotta be up there [near the top] with being drafted into the NFL,” Hunter says. “This game is going to be worldwide. Billions of people are waiting on this game to drop … so it ranks high in my books.”

“For me, it’s definitely up there with winning a Big Ten championship, a national championship,” Edwards says. “Just individually, it’s definitely up there for me, especially being on the cover with these guys.”

“It’s definitely up there because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to be on the cover of the game. It’s probably ultimately going to be number one,” Ewers says.

All three players are worthy selections for being the face of the return of the college football video game.

Edwards was part of a one-two punch with Michigan running back Blake Corum and was a key cog in the Wolverines’ rushing offense en route to a national championship last season. He carried the ball 119 times for 497 yards and five touchdowns and added 249 yards receiving. In the national championship win over the Washington Huskies, Edwards rushed six times for 104 yards and two touchdowns as the Wolverines captured their first national title since 1997.

In his second season with the Longhorns last season, Ewers completed 69% of his passes for 3,479 yards and 22 touchdowns to six interceptions as he led Texas to a College Football Playoff semifinal appearance in the Sugar Bowl.

Hunter was one of the most dynamic players in all of college football. He played on both sides of the football as a receiver and defensive back for Colorado. He caught 57 passes for 721 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 30 total tackles and three interceptions defensively. He was named an Associated Press First-Team All-American as an all-purpose player.


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Mike McDaniel

MIKE MCDANIEL

Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.