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.
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
#2071 on The Best Athletes of All Time
#18 on The Best QB's Under Age 24see more on Denard Robinson
Baylor University quarterback
#1990 on The Best Athletes of All Timesee more on Robert Griffin III
Oklahoma State running back
#440 on The Best Athletes of All Timesee more on Barry Sanders
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram Jr. appeared on all versions of NCAA Football 12.
#513 on The Best Football Players Eversee more on Mark Ingram, Jr.
Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was on all versions of NCAA Football 11.
#61 on The Most Obnoxious Athletessee more on Tim Tebow
Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree was on the Xbox360 version of NCAA Football 10.
#534 on The Best Football Players Eversee more on Michael Crabtree
USC Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez graced the cover of the PSP version of NCAA Football 10.
#841 on The Best Football Players Eversee more on Mark Sanchez
Texas Longhorns defensive end/linebacker Brian Orakpo was on the NCAA Football 10 PlayStation 2 cover.
#47 on Famous People Named Briansee more on Brian Orakpo