Athletes express excitement for NCAA football video game

Published April 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m., last updated April 2, 2024, 11:15 a.m.

It’s been over a decade since college football fans have seen a new NCAA football video game. 

Electronic Arts (EA) told ESPN in 2022 that the franchise was set to be revived this summer, but excitement around the game took off in February when EA released a trailer.

The Daily reported in February that Stanford would be featured in the game. For players on the football team, the game represents a chance to be memorialized forever.

“Me and a lot of my friends are in the game at other places,” said junior cornerback Collin Wright. “It’s just amazing to see everybody getting the opportunity to see themselves in a game, especially for those who don’t make it to the NFL.”

For junior tackle Fisher Anderson, the opportunity for his high school friends to play as him in the game is an exciting prospect.

“Nobody wants to play as an offensive lineman,” Anderson said. “But I know that some of my best friends will be doing the Road to Glory mode and making me a Heisman winner.”

A controversial element for players is the ratings. Many players expressed strong opinions about where they expected ratings to fall in the game. 

“Anything 80 and above would be pretty decent,” Wright said. “But anything below, I’ll be pretty upset.”

“If they give just a few people in the country a 90 rating or above, I would be happy with a 70,” said sophomore defensive lineman Zach Rowell. 

Another controversial aspect is what players included in the game will receive from EA.

EA is giving athletes who appear in the game $600 and a free copy of the game. While some players may look to decline this payment to seek higher payments, players who spoke to The Daily expressed satisfaction with the rate.

“I think the compensation was more than fair for me,” Anderson said. 

“I couldn’t really argue $600 dollars and a free game,” Rowell said. “They aren’t gonna give you $5000 dollars. You could argue a few hundred dollars more, but I was always pretty happy with $600 and a free game.”

However, Anderson added that rather than a baseline payment, he feels the payments should be proportional to a player’s brand and skill level. 

“If I was the best offensive tackle in college football, I would for sure leverage my ability to get more compensation,” Anderson said.

But while player ratings and compensation may dominate the discussion of message boards, most players who spoke to The Daily focused on excitement that the NCAA football franchise will finally return.

“For myself and some other kids on the team, I think it’s a really cool opportunity for players to see themselves virtually in a game that you can play against other friends,” Rowell said. “Me and my teammates play Madden against each other now, but it’ll be great to get back into NCAA football.”

This article was changed to correctly attribute quotes to Zach Rowell rather than Zach Buckey. An original version of this article also misspelled Collin Wright’s name, which is now corrected. The Daily regrets these errors.

Kaushik Sampath is a desk editor for the sports section. He is a sophomore from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who's undecided on his major. You can catch him watching and ranting about his beloved Arkansas Razorbacks or hanging out with friends on campus. Contact him at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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