With so many college football fans chomping at the bit for an action-packed opening weekend, no topic or debate is off limits. Games have been created and Heisman Trophy odds are out. One of the best trends happen to be video game covers.
This is a significant day for CFB fans. It might also be a sad one. July 9, 2018 marks the five-year anniversary since the release of NCAA Football 14 by EA Sports, the last installment of a legendary video game before it became a court case fiasco on paying athletes.
There are some gamers who have kept the final game updated with current rosters, but in honor of the anniversary, here are the Top 5 cover athlete choices for NCAA Football 19 if it existed today.
Only entering their first year of the NFL are included on this list.
5. Sam Darnold (USC)
After throwing for 4,143 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on 63.1 percent passing, Darnold was taken No. 3 overall by the New York Jets in the 2018. Having the 6-foot-3 signal caller as the cover athlete could be a huge splash in major markets such as Los Angeles and New York. Maybe UCLA’s Josh Rosen or Ohio State’s JT Barrett deserve the nod here. Nonetheless, the other four just might be more popular choices.
4. Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
Fresh off a national championship and being drafted No. 11 by the Miami Dolphins, it would seem like a logical move to use arguably the best player on the best team for the cover. The 6-foot-1 safety is bound for a strong NFL career after making plays for the Crimson Tide, and the only real gripe here would be the fact it would be rare to have a defender on the cover.
3. Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
It might not have been the ideal draft night for Jackson, going No. 30 to the Baltimore Ravens after a stellar collegiate career, which included the Heisman Trophy in 2016, but this could be a big-time cover. Jackson is an exciting dual-threat quarterback with a long list of accolades and attention to make it a classic.
2. Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
Certainly one of the most explosive, popular, and likable football players from last season, Barkley has everything it takes to be the ideal chosen cover athlete. Add in the fact he will be looked to be the face of the New York Giants after being drafted No. 2 overall and this would be an easy choice to pick the running back if not for the next player.
1. Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
A berth in the College Football Playoffs, the 2018 Heisman Trophy, and the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns. Are there any better credentials a player could have to be the cover athlete than the former Sooners quarterback? Some may not like his on-field antics or past off-field trouble, but it’s impossible to deny how much Mayfield stands out and how easy of a choice it would be to make this happen.