Top NCAA Football 09 cover candidates

Posted December 27th, 2007 at 8:58 am


With EA already teasing the cover announcement, it is time to look over the top candidates to grace the cover of NCAA Football 09.

Historically EA has gone for the most popular and dynamic player entering the draft. The are a couple exceptions though such as when they went retro with Desmond Howard in 06 and chose Jared Zabransky for 08 based less off the success of him as an individual and more on the overall excitement around the Boise State team. The cover also generally goes to an offensive player as the only defensive player to ever get it was Charles Woodson in 1999. The breakdown for the series has been six QBs, three RBs, one WR, and one CB.

This year there are two good defensive candidates, with one in particular having the name recognition that could make a difference. There is the obvious player who everyone would expect to get the cover. There are some sleepers that could be in the running if they declare for the draft. And there are also a handful of QBs and those would have to be considered since the NCAA Football series has slanted towards them in the past.

Top Contenders

Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas: It would come as no surprise to anyone if McFadden was announced as the cover athlete. He is a natural fit. The most recognizable name in the draft even though he didn’t win the Heisman. Great potential to have a big impact in the mold of Adrian Peterson in his rookie season in the NFL. Almost seems too perfect for the cover.

Chris Long, DE, Virginia: As stated earlier defensive players don’t get much consideration when it comes to the cover. However the difference here is in the name. Chris Long is the son of former Raiders great and current Fox studio analyst Howie Long. He is expected to go at the top of the draft and could potentially even be the first pick.


Matt Ryan, Boston College: With the success of the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Boston College would it really be a surprise to see Ryan on the cover? He led BC to some great late-game comebacks and started to get his name mentioned throughout the country when they were in the national title hunt.

Dennis Dixon, Oregon: An exciting dynamic player that may have won the Heisman and led his team to a National Championship had he not gotten injured late in the season. He was riding a wave of momentum prior to that and his name is known on a national stage because of that.

Brian Brohm, Louisville: Went into the year expecting to be the top pick or at least top QB taken going into the draft but may not end up even being that. Louisville had a bad season though mostly based on their atrocious defense.

Colt Brennan, Hawaii: Last year it was Zabransky after helping underdog Boise State to an undefeated season and amazing Fiesta Bowl win that got him the cover. This year Colt Brennan is in the same situation heading into the Sugar Bowl only he has far better numbers and is a better pro prospect.

Andre Woodson, Kentucky: Another top quality QB that is expected to go early in the draft possibly in the top 10.


Jonathan Stewart, Oregon: An underclassman that if he declares (which most seem to expect he will) almost certainly will be the next back taken after McFadden. If they don’t go McFadden they probably won’t go RB and Stewart isn’t as recognizable as teammate Dixon.

Mike Hart, Michigan: After the disappointing season they had Hart probably won’t get much consideration. But he is the top senior RB so his name should be out there.

Felix Jones, Arkansas: A fantastic back that was overshadowed by McFadden. For that reason alone he has no shot of getting the cover as everyone would assume that it was McFadden anyway. Unless that was what EA had in mind. Clever idea actually.


DeSean Jackson, California: The receiver group for this year doesn’t really provide much hope for grabbing the cover. Of them Jackson appears to be the best fit due to the excitement he brings to the field.


Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU: At this point Dorsey seems to be the name mentioned the most as going first in the draft. For that reason alone his name deserves to be out there when talking about the cover, but the chances of him being put on are minimal. Outside of hardcore football fans no one would recognize him.