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EA Sports College Football 25 will be released July 19, cover stars unveiled

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College football video game fanatics finally have a date.

EA Sports College Football 25 will be released worldwide on July 19, and history will be made with active college football players on the cover of the game for the first time ever.

Colorado cornerback/receiver Travis Hunter, Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Michigan running back Donovan Edwards will be the cover stars of the game, EA Sports told USA TODAY Sports. The trio will be on both the standard and deluxe editions of the game.

A full reveal of the game will be launched Friday.

EA Sports’ video game franchise, which began in 1993, has had players on its cover for the majority of its versions. But when previous versions of the NCAA Football game had players on its cover, they were in their college gear but had already left the college ranks by the time the game came out.   

Hunter, Ewers and Edwards are three of more than 10,000 college football players expected to be in the game, according to EA Sports. Player likeness without compensation was the reason why the NCAA Football franchise folded in 2013 and why a college football video game hasn’t been released since then. But with name, image and likeness running rampant in college sports, EA Sports will compensate players in exchange for their likeness with $600 and a free copy of the game.

All the cover stars told reporters it is a surreal moment to have the honor.

“They’re gonna remember all three of us because we were the first guys on the cover to kind of bring it back,” Ewers said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to be on the cover of the game.”

EA Sports College Football 25 details

EA Sports College Football 25 will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Standard and Deluxe editions of EA Sports College Football 25 are available for pre-order. EA Sports is also offering the MVP Bundle, which includes the deluxe editions of EA SPORTS College Football 25 and Madden NFL 25. The MVP bundle will come with three-day early access for both games and “a variety of other benefits.”

The full reveal, which typically includes a trailer of the game, will be Friday. EA Sports said more details will be unveiled “throughout the summer” leading up to the release date.

‘It’s a dream come true’

The news of the cover athletes of the video game was expected thanks to a leak on the PlayStation Store on Friday. The deluxe edition cover of the game features the three stars, along with Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, Georgia quarterback Carson Beck and Ohio State running back Quinshon Judkins. EA Sports said it was surprised by the leak.

Edwards, Ewers and Hunter were all contacted about the leak, and they all played it coy to avoid confirming if it was true. Edwards was doing a charity event at a hospital, and when staff came up to congratulate him about being on the cover, he just gave them funny looks and told them he didn’t have any idea about it.

Credit to the three stars for not spilling the beans when it’s evident how excited they are to be on the cover. All three players reminisced about playing NCAA Football 14 when it was released in 2013, and Hunter said he still plays it to this day. When EA Sports contacted them being on the cover, they all said it was one of the easiest “yes” ever.

“I wasn’t gonna turn them down,” Hunter said. “It’s a dream come true.”

They will be compensated for their likeness in the game, but no details were given about whether cover athletes will receive additional compensation than other players in the game. None of them said that factored into their decision.

“There’s no amount of money that played a part in an opportunity like this,” Edwards said.

As for where it ranks in personal achievements, Hunter said this is tied at the top of the list with the dream of getting drafted by the NFL, which should happen once he leaves college. For Edwards, “it’s up there definitely with a Big 10 championship and national championship.”

The game is expected to be played by thousands of people across the country when it’s released this summer, and it’ll “be the talk of the locker room for a while” at Texas, Ewers said, expecting some intense games between teammates. Hunter added whenever he and his squad have downtime during preseason camp or during the season, they’ll be playing the game. Ewers even threw a light-hearted challenge at Hunter so he could “show him what a real baller is like.”

The players didn’t have any details about the game to share. What they can say though, is that people should go into this game believing it will be an incredible experience to play.

“Hopefully they go into it with an open mind instead of just closing their mind off and just wanting to be haters already,” Ewers said.

Edwards is the second consecutive Michigan player to be on a college football video game cover after former quarterback Denard Robinson was the cover star for NCAA Football 14. It’s the first time one school has back-to-back players on the cover, and Michigan has the most cover athletes of any school to appear on an EA Sports college football video game. Charles Woodson and Desmond Howard featured on past editions.

Even though Edwards gets to join an elite list of Wolverines, he’s also cherishing the moment with his fellow cover athletes. They all got to meet in-person to do the photoshoot together, and know they will now have a bond between them for the rest of their lives.

“It’s a brotherhood that we have forever,” Edwards said. “Can’t nobody take this experience away from us.”

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