Football player NCAA Football Cover Athletes

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Similar to the honor of the Madden NFL cover athlete tradition, each year, one former college football player is selected to become the NCAA Football cover athlete for the popular American football video game series. The honor has often gone to the player who wins the Heisman Trophy earlier in the year, but has also been given to other top players from the previous season.

Unlike Madden NFL, the NCAA Football video game series cannot legally use the name, image or likeness of active players under NCAA rules. Because of this restriction, generally the player, or players, on the cover of the game is a standout player who just finished their final season of college football and is heading into the National Football League. Similarly, players within the game are not named, but are build based on the characteristics of real players.

Just like Madden NFL, one notable coach started the video game series and appeared on the cover for the first few years. Bill Walsh, who coached the Stanford Cardinal, gave his name to the franchise when it started in 1994 as Bill Walsh College Football.

The game was named simply College Football USA for the 1996 and 1997 installments before adopting the NCAA Football title which has been used in years since. Another change came in 2009 and 2010 when different covers were issued, one for each video game platform. This small difference gave as many as five notable athletes, and even one mascot, the honor of being remembered as one of the top college football players of the year, something even a crappy professional career cannot take away.

Who are the NCAA Football covers? Take a look here and see for yourself. 
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Denard Robinson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson won a fan vote to be on the cover of NCAA Football 14, which would be the last in the series due to legal questions about whether college athletes should be paid for use of their likenesses

Also Ranked

#2071 on The Best Athletes of All Time

#31 on The Best Jacksonville Jaguars of All Time

#13 on The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time

#18 on The Best QB's Under Age 24

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Robert Griffin III is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Baylor University quarterback 

Also Ranked

#74 on The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time

#1990 on The Best Athletes of All Time

#103 on The Best Quarterbacks of All Time

#30 on Athletes Who Should Get a Reality Show

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Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Oklahoma State running back

Also Ranked

#440 on The Best Athletes of All Time

#3 on The Best Football Players Ever

#3 on Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

#1 on The Best Detroit Lions of All Time

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Mark Ingram, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram Jr. appeared on all versions of NCAA Football 12.

Also Ranked

#513 on The Best Football Players Ever

#6 on The Best 2000s College Running Backs

#26 on The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time

#22 on The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time

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Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was on all versions of NCAA Football 11.

Also Ranked

#61 on The Most Obnoxious Athletes

#241 on Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

#239 on The Biggest Douchebags in Hollywood

#77 on Celebrities You Wouldn't Want as Neighbors

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Michael Crabtree is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree was on the Xbox360 version of NCAA Football 10.

Also Ranked

#54 on The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time

#534 on The Best Football Players Ever

#55 on The Best Oakland Raiders of All Time

#3 on The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

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Mark Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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USC Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez graced the cover of the PSP version of NCAA Football 10.

Also Ranked

#150 on The Best Quarterbacks of All Time

#49 on The Best Quarterbacks in the NFL Right Now

#841 on The Best Football Players Ever

#40 on The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

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Brian Orakpo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Texas Longhorns defensive end/linebacker Brian Orakpo was on the NCAA Football 10 PlayStation 2 cover.

Also Ranked

#52 on The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time

#52 on The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

#8 on The Best Texas Longhorns Football Players of All Time

#47 on Famous People Named Brian

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