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EA Sports College Football 25: Why Donovan Edwards is a smart pick as Michigan’s fourth cover star

Michigan star running back Donovan Edwards is set to be one of the featured cover athletes on EA Sports’ upcoming College Football 25 video game. Cover art appeared on the PlayStation Store on Friday with the option for fans to wish list the game ahead of its expected summer release, generating even more hype after an 11-year hiatus of the college football video game.

Edwards is featured front and center next to Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Colorado multi-positional star Travis Hunter. Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, Georgia quarterback Carson Beck and Ohio State running back Quinshon Judkins also appear, as well as unnamed players from programs like Clemson, USC and Notre Dame. The PlayStation Store listing also includes an in-game screenshot showing Notre Dame players preparing to run out of the tunnel inside Notre Dame Stadium. 

Edwards played a significant role in Michigan winning its first national title since 1997 this past season. Edwards’ role is expected to increase during the 2024 campaign because of the mass departures within the program to the next level. The Wolverines had 13 players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft — the most among all college teams — and lost coach Jim Harbaugh to the Los Angeles Chargers.

EA Sports confirmed in February that the video game series will be released this summer. The company released a hype trailer and renderings of some in-game assets, including player models, mascots, and stadiums. More information about the game is expected to be released next week. 

Edwards will become the fourth different Michigan player to appear on the cover of the acclaimed video game, joining Charles Woodson (NCAA Football 99), Desmond Howard (NCAA Football 06), and Denard Robinson (NCAA Football 14). Robinson was the last cover athlete to appear on the cover before it was officially put on pause due in part to an antitrust lawsuit surrounding name, image, and likeness. The NCAA’s recent sweeping reforms that allowed college athletes to profit off their NIL opened the door for the video game to return.

Here are three fast facts to know about the Michigan star running back.

Former five-star recruit ranked No. 33 in class

Coming out of West Bloomfield (Mich.) located less than 50 miles from Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus, Edwards ranked as the No. 33 player in the 2021 recruiting cycle by 247Sports. The five-star prospect ranked only behind future Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson as the best player at his position. Edwards committed to the Wolverines over Georgia, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma. In the end, Edwards elected to stay close to home.

Edwards played a key role in Michigan’s title run

While former Michigan star running back Blake Corum received most of the carries en route to the CFP title game win over Washington, Edwards also played a critical role in bringing home the trophy. When Corum missed the end of the 2022 season due to injury, Edwards stepped up to become the RB1. He rushed for 991 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022 before following it up by rushing for 497 yards with five touchdowns this past season. Edwards rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on only six carries in the 34-13 win over Washington in the title game. With Corum off to the NFL and Edwards electing to run it back for another season, he should see his numbers skyrocket.

Edwards is the new “face” of Michigan football

The 2024 season will mark a new era of Michigan football. With Harbaugh now with the Chargers and offensive stars J.J. McCarthy, Blake Corum, and Roman Wilson off to the NFL, Edwards will have an opportunity to be the face of the Big Ten juggernaut. Edwards is one of the most notable returners on offense, while star defense lineman Mason Graham and cornerback Will Johnson headline the defense. Michigan’s offensive schemes could look the same with Sherrone Moore stepping in for Harbaugh, meaning Edwards will have a chance to become an even larger household name as his role increases in 2024. 

It seemed logical that the video game cover would feature a member of the reigning champions, and Edwards certainly fits the bill as the headliner of a new-look Michigan roster.

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