EA Sports is releasing a new version of its beloved college football game — “EA Sports College Football 25” — for the first time since 2013 — and fans have been busy thinking up ideas for the new edition.

The question that might end up being debated the most could be the matter of which athlete should grace the cover of the game. 

[Tracking the current stars who will be in the game]

And with the popular game having been out of commission for 11 years, there have been plenty of athletes in that period who have proven to be worthy of the honor.

While choosing the cover athlete might be a difficult task, RJ Young didn’t shy away from the challenge, providing a list of his five best cover athletes for the game on the latest episode of “The No. 1 College Football Show with RJ Young.”

Here they are.

5. Colorado HC Deion Sanders, QB Shedeur Sanders, CB/WR Travis Hunter

Young’s thoughts: “You put [Coach] Prime in the middle [and] you have him flanked by them two boys, you understand what time it is? Because that is what college football is today. It is very much them. They are cool, people love to watch them, people show up to watch them on television. … I think that if you want to move the units, you want to get the kids and the kids’ kids to buy the video game in droves, that’s what you do because all the youngsters love them some Coach Prime … I think that would be really on brand for 2024.”

Lamar Jackson headlines best cover athletes for EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game

Lamar Jackson headlines best cover athletes for EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game

4. Alabama WR DeVonta Smith

Young’s thoughts: “What he did in 2020 — let alone what he did in the national championship game in 2018 — that merits being mentioned. But the thing that stuck with me was we could talk about Desmond Howard being on this game. At one point Desmond Howard was that dude, the Heisman winner. And then we went damn near 30 years without another wide receiver winning the Heisman trophy, and that guy was DeVonta Smith, and nobody was upset about it. Like, that’s the thing; he was that big a deal. And I think what he had done at Alabama also encapsulates what Alabama football was at the time that Nick Saban was coaching there.”

3. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence

Young’s thoughts: “Trevor, I think, is the safest selection for this because Trevor did not win the Heisman Trophy even though we could make an argument for most of the three years, but we didn’t know who he was going to be in 2018. Remember that dude came off the bench as a true freshman and led Clemson to the national championship. He’s the first guy to do that since my man Jamelle Holieway did it in 1985 at Oklahoma. That deserves its own honor … Given what Trevor Lawrence had done at Clemson — you know, winning — I don’t know that we could have a College Football Hall of Fame that doesn’t let him into it.”

2. LSU QB Joe Burrow

Young’s thoughts: “You know what time it is, 2019 the Heisman winner, 2019 national champ, my man showed up being Joe Cool, making the money sign, making it do what it do. I have come to really love Joe Burrow because of his getdown. At first, I thought it was kind of an act, because you know some dudes are just cocky to be cocky: that’s just who he is. And you know why I know that is who he is? Because Justin Jefferson follows him, because we got to see what it looks like when he is throwing bombs.

“If you were talking about a quarterback that could have done what Joe Burrow did given the assets that he had, maybe, but they didn’t do it; he did. You’re looking around at what he had at his disposal, and you’re going, ‘Yeah, yeah, I could’ve won it,’ but you didn’t. Not only did you not, he went into the NFL and proved it wasn’t a fluke. … I think Joe Burrow would be a really great addition to the collective jewel box cases over here of cover athletes because of what he did in 2019 [and] what he means to the sport.”

Why employing ‘student-athletes’ is the future of college football

Why employing 'student-athletes' is the future of college football

1. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

Young’s thoughts: “I can’t think of a dude that better encapsulates what we were all doing on the joysticks, because I am running five wide because every play is [a] run-pass option because my quarterback is gonna have the wheels — because if I ain’t got a quarterback that’s got no wheels, I’m not playing with him. That’s why you couldn’t play with Lamar Jackson because he’s gone shake you like a bowl full of JELL-O, and then he’s gonna throw a ball 80 yards for the touchdown.

“If the game would’ve allowed a Lamar Jackson-type [to] play safety, I would’ve done that, too. That’s who this game is for. That’s what this game is about, us to be on the sticks, us that are trying to get the CPU timing down so that we can click the triangle button and make sure that we got the user option to go pick this pass off.”

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