In Honor Of EA CFB Game, A Look At Brian Johnson’s Cover Appearance

Feb 2, 2021, 2:11 PM
Brian Johnson - Utah Utes...
Quarterback Brian Johnson #3 of the Utah Utes looks to pass the ball during the game against the Michigan Wolverines on August 30, 2008 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah QB Brian Johnson is the only player in the state of Utah to have ever made the cover of an NCAA Football video game.

Brian Johnson made the cover of NCAA Football 10 for the PlayStation 3 edition. It was one of two versions of the game that had multiple cover athletes. Johnson was joined by former Texas LB Brian Orakpo, who was on the PlayStation 2 cover. USC QB Mark Sanchez appeared on the PSP (portable PlayStation) cover, and Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree was on the Xbox 360 cover.

EA Sports announced on Tuesday that the College Football game will return at some point in the near future. They plan to release the game within the next couple of years on the new consoles, including PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Daryl Holt, who is the vice president and general manager of EA Sports told ESPN the following:

“As we look for the momentum that we’re building on in sports, it all starts with the passion of our fans and the opportunities of what they are interested in,” Holt said. “I don’t think there’s a visit where I go outside wearing a piece of EA Sports-branded apparel that someone doesn’t go, ‘Hey, when is college football coming back?'”

History Of Video Game Utah QB Brian Johnson Was Featured On

Normally the game featured just one cover athlete for the game across all consoles. But for two years, the game featured an athlete for each console. That’s how Johnson made the cover. Johnson was also the second player from a non-power five program (at the time) that made the cover, joining Boise State QB Jared Zabransky.

The game first came out in 1994 and was called “Bill Walsh College Football ’94.”  Walsh was on the cover for the first two games before they changed the name to College Football USA 96 where they had generic players, helmets and mascots on the cover. They used a generic Kansas State wide receiver, generic Michigan running back, generic Florida State helmet and Tommy Trojan (USC’s mascot).

The first college football player to make the cover was Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier on “College Football USA 97.” That was when the franchise changed the name to NCAA Football.

NCAA College Football Cover Athletes

Here are the athletes that made the cover of each NCAA Football video game since it’s existence.

  • NCAA Football 98 – Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida
  • NCAA Football 99 – Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan
  • NCAA Football 2000 – Ricky Williams, RB, Texas
  • NCAA Football 2001 – Shaun Alexander, RB, Alabama
  • NCAA Football 2002 – Chris Weinke, QB, Florida State
  • NCAA Football 2003 – Joey Harrington, QB, Oregon
  • NCAA Football 2004 – Carson Palmer, QB, USC
  • NCAA Football 2005 – Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pittsburgh
  • NCAA Football 06 – Desmond Howard, WR, Michigan
  • NCAA Football 07 – Reggie Bush, RB, USC
  • NCAA Football 08 – Jared Zabransky, QB, Boise State
  • NCAA Football 09 (PlayStation 2) – DeSean Jackson, WR, California
  • NCAA Football 09 (PlayStation 3) – Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
  • NCAA Football 09 (PSP) – Owen Schmitt, FB, West Virginia
  • NCAA Football 09 (Nintendo Wii) – Sparty, Michigan State Mascot
  • NCAA Football 09 (Xbox 360) – Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
  • NCAA Football 10 (PlayStation 2) – Brian Orakpo, LB, Texas
  • NCAA Football 10 (PlayStation 3) – Brian Johnson, QB, Utah
  • NCAA Football 10 (PSP) – Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
  • NCAA Football 10 (Xbox 360) – Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
  • NCAA Football 11 – Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
  • NCAA Football 12 – Mark Ingram Jr., RB, Alabama
  • NCAA Football 13 – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
  • NCAA Football 13 – Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State
  • NCAA Football 14 – Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan

The game stopped being made after the 2014 edition due to the NCAA rules in regards with using the players names on the video game.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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In Honor Of EA CFB Game, A Look At Brian Johnson’s Cover Appearance