Can you feel it, friends? The magic of NCAA Football is in the air and it has put all of us in the mood to dust off our favorite video game consoles and take the field for the first time in over a decade.
With the upcoming iteration of the beloved college football video game loosely expected to be released in the summer, we wanted to compile a list of one player from each Big 12 team that we cannot wait to use once the game releases.
ARIZONA QB NOAH FIFITA
Brent Brennan and the Wildcats made one of the biggest plays of the offseason in keeping freshman quarterback Noah Fifita out of the transfer portal after his previous head coach, Jedd Fisch, elected to take over coaching duties at Washington. Fifita was a revelation in his redshirt freshman season going 241-333 (72.4%) for 2,869 yards and a touchdown to interception ratio of 25-6. The California native possesses a unique ability to extend plays outside of the pocket which is something that EA Sports College Football players should be looking to add to their team.
ARIZONA STATE RB CAMERON SKATTEBO
While Arizona State’s offense wasn’t very prolific in 2023, junior running back Cameron Skattebo was legit. The junior back recorded 164 carries for 783 yards and ten scores last season, following a sophomore campaign that featured 1,372 yards and ten all-purpose touchdowns. Outside of his ability on the field, one underrated aspect of his usage in EA Sports College Football is the undeniable appeal of having a player with a fun and unique last name as your starting running back.
BAYLOR QB DEQUAN FINN
Now I know that we have yet to see Finn take the field for Baylor since joining the Bears in the transfer portal, but luckily for this story, we haven’t seen any of these people take the field in the video game world yet either. Finn was a stud last season at Toledo and should step on the field as an immediate upgrade to what the Bears lost in Blake Shapen. As a redshirt junior in 2023, Finn threw for 2,657 yards and a touchdown to interception ratio of 22-9. Finn falls into the category of a dual-threat quarterback which can be the most infuriating thing to defend in football video games. Finn added 563 yards and seven rushing touchdowns en route to the Rockets’ first-place finish.
BYU WR CHASE ROBERTS
Let’s not play pretend here, who among us has not thrown up a 50/50 ball to a 6’4 receiver in hopes of Mossing a small DB? I rest my case. Chase Roberts was a solid playmaker last season in Provo and should continue to grow in 2024. The Utah native brought in 42 catches for 573 yards and five scores as a sophomore and will likely be one of the Cougars’ top receiving options as a junior.
CINCINNATI RB COREY KINER
For a very similar reason to that of having a tall and lengthy receiver on your team, having a small and shifty running back on your roster is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Cincinnati running back Corey Kiner is a bowling ball. Listed at 5-foot-9, 215 pounds, the Ohio native would be an electric playmaker to use in a conference featuring some of the nation’s best rushers. Kiner finished his junior season off with 192 carries for 1,047 yards and five scores while averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
COLORADO CB/WR TRAVIS HUNTER
Now I know there’s going to be a collection of fans upset with the exclusion of junior quarterback Shedeur Sanders, but c’mon, who doesn’t love a dynamic two-way athlete? Travis Hunter could possibly be the most exciting non-quarterback player in the Big 12 Conference to have in a dynasty league or ultimate team game mode which is a recipe for a good time. Despite missing time due to an injury, Hunter put his name front and center as one of the nation’s premiere athletes recording 31 tackles and three interceptions on defense while also adding 57 grabs for 721 yards and five scores on offense.
HOUSTON WR SAMUEL BROWN
The pick is a bit interchangeable in Houston. I nearly chose Donovan Smith for his dual-threat ability, but with a solid amount of signal callers on the list, Brown feels like the next man up. The sophomore wideout finished off 2023 with 62 grabs for 815 yards and three scores. Brown was a big piece of an underrated receiver room for the Cougars and averaged an impressive 13.1 yards per reception. His 6-foot-2 frame paired with his big play ability would make him a great player to target in EA Sports College Football.
IOWA STATE S JEREMIAH COOPER
Sophomore safety Jeremiah Cooper is a dream player to use on defense in roaming sideline to sideline. His pass-catching abilities (converted wide receiver) helped Cooper lead the Big 12 Conference with five interceptions in 2023. Cooper also recorded 45 stops, one forced fumble, and one touchdown as one of the top players in the Cyclones’ secondary.
KANSAS RB DEVIN NEAL
Devin Neal is the perfect player to use in the upcoming college football video game. His shiftiness paired with his ability to make home-run plays helped him rack up some impressive numbers on the ground as a junior. Neal finished off his 2023 campaign with 203 carries for 1,280 yards and 16 touchdowns. Neal elected to return to Kansas in 2024 which could pave his path to becoming one of the nation’s best backs in 2024.
KANSAS STATE QB AVERY JOHNSON
Avery Johnson feels like the closest player available in the Big 12 Conference who has shades of Michael Vick in Madden ’04 in his game. Johnson is a dynamic athlete who can rush and throw with the best players in the league. The Kansas native saw limited action in 2023 behind Will Howard but did manage to finish off the season with 37 completions for 479 yards and 10 total touchdowns all while throwing zero interceptions.
OKLAHOMA STATE RB OLLIE GORDON
This pick is pretty simple, who doesn’t want to use the nation’s best running back? Ollie Gordon took home the Doak Walker Award in 2023 after recording some ridiculous numbers as a sophomore. Gordon totaled 285 carries for 1,732 yards and 21 touchdowns while adding 330 yards and a score in the receiving game. While the Big 12 has a total of six 1000-yard rushers returning in 2024, Gordon headlines the bunch as the top-rated running back in America.
TCU WR SAVION WILLIAMS
TCU wideout Savion Williams is a massive dude. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound wide receiver is a must-have in the upcoming release. Williams brought in 41 grabs for 573 yards and four scores for the Horned Frogs in 2023, and after dealing with some quarterback issues and injuries, Williams should become an even bigger piece of Sonny Dykes team in 2024.
TEXAS TECH WR MICAH HUDSON
While I know the incoming freshman has yet to even put on a Texas Tech jersey at this point in the offseason, Micah Hudson has to be the player mentioned here. Tahj Brooks deserves a mention after being one of the league’s best backs, but the top-rated wideout in the Class of 2024 deserves his flowers in this one.
UCF RB RJ HARVEY
RJ Harvey is going to be absolutely electric in EA Sports College Football. The 5-foot-8 running back totaled 226 carries for 1,416 yards and 16 scores while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Harvey exploded for multiple big performances during his senior season and quickly showed off his explosive skillset which should make him a fan favorite in the upcoming title.
UTAH QB CAM RISING
Utah has a lot of athletes and playmakers, but nobody makes more happen than Cam Rising. The team struggled without their veteran signal-caller in 2023 and is set to get him back under center as a member of the Big 12 Conference. Rising threw for 3,034 yards and a touchdown to interception ratio of 28-6 in his last outing.
WEST VIRGINIA QB GARRETT GREENE
Garrett Greene is the definition of a gamer. Greene put up stat lines that looked like video game numbers on multiple occasions in 2023 through the air and on the ground. The Florida native threw for 2,406 and 24 scores while adding 772 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. Greene’s 2023 season was the best of his career and could provide a segway into a successful 2024 season for West Virginia.