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.
Arkansas Razorbacks running back Darren McFadden appeared on the Xbox 360 version of NCAA Football 09.
#479 on The Best Football Players Eversee more on Darren McFadden
Sparty, the Michigan State Spartans mascot, was selected for the cover of the Wii version of NCAA Football 09.
Utah Utes quarterback Brian Johnson appeared on the PlayStation 3 cover of NCAA Football 10. see more on Brian Johnson
West Virginia Mountaineers fullback Owen Schmitt was on the NCAA Football 09 cover for the PSP.
#22 on Famous People Named Owensee more on Owen Schmitt
Boston College Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan graced the cover of the NCAA Football 09 for the PlayStation 3.
#175 on The Best Football Players Eversee more on Matt Ryan
Wide receiver and return specialist DeSean Jackson of the California Golden Bears was on the PlayStation 2 cover of NCAA Football 09.
#251 on The Best Football Players Eversee more on DeSean Jackson
Jared Zabransky, a quarterback for the Boise State Broncos, was on the cover of NCAA Football 08.
#33 on Famous People Named Jaredsee more on Jared Zabransky
Running back Reggie Bush from the USC Trojans appeared on the cover of NCAA Football 07.
#1653 on The Best Athletes of All Timesee more on Reggie Bush