“CFB 25” announces its release date; Edwards, Ewers, Hunter as cover athletes

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Last Friday, Michigan running back Donovan Edwards was at a local hospital, handing out gift baskets to patients for Mother’s Day, when a doctor made a comment that caught him off guard.

“Congratulations on the cover,” the doctor told him, referring to the upcoming EA Sports College Football 25 video game.

Edwards, not knowing how the doctor knew the secret, responded that he did not know what the doctor was talking about and dismissed it. The running back quickly learned that a cover had leaked via the official PlayStation Store.

The leaked deluxe version cover has been confirmed to be authentic as EA Sports revealed the covers on Thursday, along with a July 19 release date, another milestone in the game’s return after 11 years of absence. The game will have two versions (standard for $69.99 and deluxe, which will be playable three days earlier on July 16, for $99.99) and three main cover athletes on both: Edwards, the quarterback of the Texas Quinn Ewers and Colorado wide receiver/defensive back. Travis Hunter. They are the first active college players to grace the cover, thanks to relaxed rules allowing players to enjoy rights to their name, image and likeness. Previous editions of the game featured a graduated star or former legend. EA halted production of the game due to litigation concerns following lawsuits challenging the NCAA’s previous NIL restrictions.

“It’s a surreal moment,” Ewers told a select group of reporters earlier this week.

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The game’s full reveal will take place on Friday, the company said, and pre-orders for both versions of the game opened on Thursday. The game will only be made for PlayStation 5 and XBox Series anticipated for everyone, with other advantages.

Despite the college game’s 11-year hiatus, his legacy remains so strong and the role of cover athlete so coveted that even hospital doctors followed every news story.

“A lot of people contacted me, but I just told them I didn’t know if it was real,” Hunter said of the reaction to the leak. “I kept everyone on their toes.”

Each player who registered and was selected for the game will receive $600 and a copy of the game (valued at $70). An additional group of male and female college athletes have signed separate ambassador contracts to promote the game. Cover athletes also receive more, although players have declined to discuss their compensation. For all three players, the process of getting featured on the cover was simple.

“They just asked me, and of course I wasn’t going to refuse,” Hunter said. “That was pretty much the process, and I wanted to do whatever I needed to do for them.”

The three players met for the standard version’s cover photo shoot, which appears to take place at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas. The Deluxe Edition cover also depicts Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, Georgia quarterback Carson Beck and Ohio State running back Quinshon Judkins from behind.

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But it’s Edwards, Ewers and Hunter who are the focal points. Edwards won a national championship with Michigan last season, scoring two touchdowns in the title game. Ewers led Texas to a Big 12 championship and a College Football Playoff appearance and is projected to be one of the top quarterbacks in the 2025 NFL Draft. Hunter is a two-way star who had 721 receiving yards and three interceptions in his first season at Colorado.

All three have memories of playing this game, despite a decade without a new one. Hunter, an active gamer who streams live on Twitch, said he continued to play NCAA Football 14 on PC long after the game stopped. He would either create himself as a two-way player or run the option to reading with Marcus Mariota and Oregon. Ewers said he used to create himself and place the player in Texas.

Some other details of the game are already known. All 134 FBS teams will be included in the game. College Football 25 will be built on the Madden engine but will not be a reskin of Madden. Dynasty mode and Road to Glory will once again be the game modes offered. A transfer portal is also expected. Schools have submitted thousands of assets to EA Sports over the past three years, including stadium photos, jerseys, crowd cheers and more. Footage from the College Football Playoff and bowl will be used, most individual trophies other than the Heisman Trophy will not be included, many ESPN broadcasters have already recorded their calls and the developers are continuing to plan all the details and changes possible in the sport before the release of the game.

When fall camp rolls around, not only will players and fans be excited about the season on the field, but they’ll also be able to play it in the video game for the first time in over a decade.

“There are definitely going to be some games that are definitely going to be pretty intense,” Ewers said. “It will be the talk of the locker room. But we have to be present and understand what we are here to do. I know for sure that in fall camp, during these little breaks that we have, people are going to play it all the time.

Covering topics over the years

Version Blanket

1994

Bill Walsh

1995

Bill Walsh

1996

Unidentified Kansas State, Florida State and Michigan players, Tommy The Trojan, member of the Wisconsin group

1997

Tommy Frazier

1998

Danny Wuerffel

1999

Charles Woodson

2000

Ricky Williams

2001

Shaun Alexander

2002

Chris Weinke

2003

Joey Harrington

2004

Carson Palmer

2005

Larry Fitzgerald

2006

Desmond Howard

2007

Reggie Bush

2008

Jared Zabrankski

2009

Darren McFadden (XBox 360), Matt Ryan (PS3), DeSean Jackson (PS2), Owen Schmitt (PSP), Sparty (Wii)

2010

Michael Crabtree (XBox 360), Brian Johnson (PS3), Brian Orakpo (PS2), Mark Sanchez (PSP)

2011

Tim Tebow

2012

Mark IngramII

2013

Robert Griffin III and Barry Sanders

2014

Dennis Robinson

2025

Quinn Ewers, Travis Hunter, Donovan Edwards (with Jalen Milroe, Carson Beck and Quinshon Judkins)

(Coverage courtesy of EA Sports)



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