NCAA Football Cover Athletes Football Players (American)
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NCAA Football Cover Athletes

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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  1. 1

    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

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    Baylor University quarterback 

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    Oklahoma State running back

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    Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram Jr. appeared on all versions of NCAA Football 12.

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    Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was on all versions of NCAA Football 11.

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    Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree was on the Xbox360 version of NCAA Football 10.

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    USC Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez graced the cover of the PSP version of NCAA Football 10.

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    Texas Longhorns defensive end/linebacker Brian Orakpo was on the NCAA Football 10 PlayStation 2 cover.

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    Arkansas Razorbacks running back Darren McFadden appeared on the Xbox 360 version of NCAA Football 09.

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    Sparty, the Michigan State Spartans mascot, was selected for the cover of the Wii version of NCAA Football 09.

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    Utah Utes quarterback Brian Johnson appeared on the PlayStation 3 cover of NCAA Football 10.

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    West Virginia Mountaineers fullback Owen Schmitt was on the NCAA Football 09 cover for the PSP.

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    Boston College Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan graced the cover of the NCAA Football 09 for the PlayStation 3.

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    Wide receiver and return specialist DeSean Jackson of the California Golden Bears was on the PlayStation 2 cover of NCAA Football 09.

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    Jared Zabransky

    Jared Zabransky, a quarterback for the Boise State Broncos, was on the cover of NCAA Football 08.

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    Running back Reggie Bush from the USC Trojans appeared on the cover of NCAA Football 07.

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    To honor one of the most memorable Hesiman Trophy winners ever, former Michigan Wolverines wide receiver and return specialist Desmond Howard appeared on the cover of NCAA Football 06, which also introduced the Race for the Hesiman mode within the game.

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    For , Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was selected to appear on the cover of the video game.

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    USC quarterback Carson Palmer was named the cover athlete for all versions of the NCAA Football 04 game.

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    Joey Harrington, a quarterback for the Oregon Ducks, appeared on the cover of NCAA Football 2003.

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