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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Darren McFadden is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Arkansas Razorbacks running back Darren McFadden appeared on the Xbox 360 version of NCAA Football 09.

Also Ranked

#479 on The Best Football Players Ever

#60 on The Best Oakland Raiders of All Time

#10 on The Best 2000s College Running Backs

#7 on The NFL Player Most Likely to Get Injured in 2014

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Sparty is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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10

Sparty


Sparty, the Michigan State Spartans mascot, was selected for the cover of the Wii version of NCAA Football 09.
Brian Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Utah Utes quarterback Brian Johnson appeared on the PlayStation 3 cover of NCAA Football 10. see more on Brian Johnson
Owen Schmitt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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West Virginia Mountaineers fullback Owen Schmitt was on the NCAA Football 09 cover for the PSP.

Also Ranked

#13 on The Best West Virginia Football Players of All Time

#22 on Famous People Named Owen

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Matt Ryan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Boston College Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan graced the cover of the NCAA Football 09 for the PlayStation 3.

Also Ranked

#53 on The Best Quarterbacks of All Time

#8 on The Best Quarterbacks in the NFL Right Now

#3 on The Best Atlanta Falcons of All Time

#175 on The Best Football Players Ever

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DeSean Jackson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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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.

Also Ranked

#45 on The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time

#251 on The Best Football Players Ever

#28 on The Best Philadelphia Eagles of All Time

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

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Jared Zabransky is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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15

Jared Zabransky


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

Also Ranked

#33 on Famous People Named Jared

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Reggie Bush is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list NCAA Football Cover Athletes
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Running back Reggie Bush from the USC Trojans appeared on the cover of NCAA Football 07.

Also Ranked

#1653 on The Best Athletes of All Time

#64 on The Best Miami Dolphins of All Time

#1 on The Best USC Trojans Players of All Time

#30 on The Best New Orleans Saints of All Time

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