The NIL movement has changed the fabric of college sports and created opportunities for both players and fans that, at one time, seemed impossible.
One of the more tangible changes that fans have been clamoring for is the return of popular video game titles that feature NCAA teams, most notably, NCAA Football.
If you’re like me, you remember the golden years of popping an EA Sports disc into your console of choice, which was followed by hours of enjoyment with your friends.
As fun as it was, the NCAA game featured college amateurs, so their identity was kept anonymous, so to speak.
With the planned return of EA Sports’ NCAA Football in 2024, you’ll see players’ names and not just numbers.
With NIL in full swing, this was a change that was expected to occur but still has been met with utter joy from gamers across the country.
If you’ve ever played the NCAA football video game, then you probably had a go-to player or team that you gravitated toward playing with for whatever reason.
I was tough to beat when playing with former First-Team All-American and Michigan star Denard Robinson under center.
Similar to real life, his turbo boost was just on another level compared to defenders, so it took little effort to turn broken plays into big gains.
Robbie Weinstein of 247 Sports put together a list of the top 10 players “we can’t wait to use” when the game does officially release.
I know what you’re thinking — any Cats on the list?
Barion Brown, the Cats’ dynamic wide receiver, was mentioned as having world-class speed and the potential to be a 2025 first-round draft pick. He’ll be a junior by the time NCAA Football 2024 releases, and that added experience should make for a monster year. Catching passes is one thing, but Brown’s most exciting trait in a video game will likely be returning kicks.
Brown has unreal speed for a 6-foot-1 wideout, as he blew away the field in high school as a state champion sprinter with a time of 10.49 seconds in the 100M. That translated to the field immediately at UK, as Brown made 50 receptions for 628 yards and four touchdowns while also running back one kickoff for a score. Brown should be one of college football’s most explosive players by 2024.
Whether you plan to play the video game or not, you have to admit that it’ll be pretty neat seeing college players finally getting their individual recognition for their name, image, and likeness being used to profit.
You can see the entire list here.
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