Eight Potential Cover Athletes Named
EA SPORTS has officially announced the eight athletes who will represent their schools in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Football Cover Vote.
The athletes listed below (in no particular order) were chosen after their schools prevailed in earlier rounds of voting:
Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia: Jones enters the 2013 NFL Draft process as a surefire top-10 pick after dominating the SEC the last two seasons. Jones finished his career with 28 sacks, and led the nation in sacks (14.5) and tackles for loss (24.5) this season despite missing two games. He was also a finalist for the prestigious Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Butkus, and Lott Awards.
E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State: The most accurate passer in Florida State history, Manuel helped lead the Seminoles to their first BCS Bowl victory since their 2000 National Championship season. In 2012, Manuel threw for 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, earning an Orange Bowl win.
Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon: Barner was one of the centerpieces of Oregon's high-octane offense, racking up more than 1,700 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns in his senior season in Eugene. He delivered one of the season's signature offensive performances, rushing for 321 yards and five touchdowns in a wild 62-51 win at Southern California.
Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M: Swope is the most decorated wide receiver in the storied history of Aggie football after leaving College Station as the school's all-time leader in both receptions (252) and receiving yards (3,117). Swope was pivotal in Texas A&M's upset win over then-No.1 Alabama, hauling in 11 catches for 111 yards and a score.
Denard Robinson, QB/ATH, Michigan: Few players in NCAA history have possessed the game-breaking ability of Denard Robinson, better known to some as “Shoelace.” He's one of just two quarterbacks in the history of college football to pass for 2,500 yards and rush for 1,500 yards in the same season, and also holds the NCAA record for most career rushing yards by a QB (4,495).
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama: The latest in the long line of dominant Alabama running backs, Lacy is trying to become the second Alabama cover athlete in the last three years (Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram graced the cover of NCAA Football 2012.) Lacy finished 2012 with 1,322 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns, averaging a whopping 6.5 yards per carry. Lacy was also huge in the BCS National Championship Game, rushing for 140 yards and two touchdowns for the Tide.
John Simon, DL, Ohio State: Consistently called "the heart and soul" of Ohio State's 2012 squad, Simon was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference with nine sacks and ranking second in tackles for loss (14.5). Simon was a two-time captain for the Buckeyes, who finished the year as the only undefeated team in the FBS.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: The winner of the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's best tight end, Eifert led Notre Dame in receiving yards as the Irish earned a berth in the BCS National Championship Game. Eifert ranks first in school history for both career receptions (134) and receiving yards (1,779) by a tight end.
Quarterfinal round voting is now open, and will continue through Monday, February 18th when EA SPORTS announces the four semifinalists.
Fans are encouraged to visit the NCAA Football Facebook page to cast their votes. In order to vote for the player, fans must “like” the image to register one vote for the athlete. Votes can also be cast for the player's university through the page's school polls.