EA Sports announced today the new cover athlete for the high-selling NCAA Football series. This series is the only one that features real college teams (but not real athletes due to NCAA regulations).
In an unprecedented event, EA Sports let the cover athlete be decided by fan voting across the nation. Mark Ingram competed against Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murrary, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley and Washington quarterback Jake Locker.
Ingram will be the second Crimson Tide player featured on the cover, with the highly-ethical running back Shaun Alexander being the first in 2001. You can view the cover here, on Facebook., and the tv spot of Ingram here at YouTube.
For those that don't keep up with the world of video games, it is considered a great honor to grace the cover of each new installment of NCAA Football 2012. With the game selling millions of copies each year, making the cover is considered the "Second Heisman Trophy."
Only athletes that have left their institution, whether by early NFL selection or graduation, are eligible for the cover.
Typically, EA Sports selects (or in this case selected options) a player that accomplished something new for their school. Ingram seemed a good choice as he was the first in a highly storied program to win a Heisman Trophy.
Murray and Locker set plenty of their own records are their respectable schools as well.
Boise State quarterback Jared Zabransky, who was the star of the Broncos when they shocked the world by upsetting the Oklahoma Sooners, was featured on the cover of NCAA Football 2008. That was the year when Boise State was really put on the map. Zabranski was not selected in the NFL draft, but is now part of the Canadian Football League.
The cover athlete featured is not always the one with the best stats, but the one that made new and exciting contributions to their schools.
Athletes with a lot of controversy surrounding them have never been chosen. Though he was never found guilty of anything, the wave of controversy kept Cam Newton from being a candidate for the cover over his team mate, Nick Fairley.
Fairley would have been the first defensive lineman featured on the cover. As with the real Heisman trophy, the cover of these video games almost exclusively features offensive players, specifically running backs and quarterbacks.
Once again, making the cover of new installments of the NCAA Football series is considered a great honor for these former college athletes.
Mark Ingram brought the Heisman trophy to Tuscaloosa, and now he's yet another Alabama athlete to make the cover of a very popular video game. The votes were cast by fans across the nation, so Mark Ingram is clearly well-received by folks outside of the state of Alabama.