Travis Hunter, Quinn Ewers, Donovan Edwards share EA Sports cover

Ewers, Hunter and Edwards featured on video game cover (0:23)

Quinn Ewers, Travis Hunter and Donovan Edwards take part in the EA Sports College Football 25 video game cover shoot. (0:23)

DALLAS -- After dazzling at cornerback and wide receiver for Colorado in 2023, Travis Hunter often hears people describe him as a video game player. Now he is on the cover of the long-anticipated return of the college football video game from EA Sports.

Hunter, Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Michigan running back Donovan Edwards share the cover of EA Sports College Football 25, set to be released July 19 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The popular game, which has been on hiatus since 2014, will include all 134 FBS teams and the names, images and likenesses of a large majority of current players.

Eight days after EA Sports set up NIL deals for current college players, more than 10,000 had opted in to the game. Each player who opted in will receive $600 and a copy of the game, valued at around $70. Hunter and Ewers were among the first high-profile players to opt in.

The main cover shows Hunter in the middle with Ewers to his right and Edwards to his left. The cover for the deluxe edition displays the backs of Hunter, Ewers and Edwards in the tunnel at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, where an extensive photo and video shoot took place in early March.

"It's just a blessing to be able to be on the cover," Hunter told ESPN. "We grew up watching this and looking at the covers, and now we're on it. When I was young, I waited till 12 o'clock to get every NCAA. It was my favorite game by far. I still play the old NCAA 14 to this day."

Hunter has created himself in the previous games, saying, "I'm a 90-something [rating] overall, so I'm pretty good, but my speed is kind of slow."

Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was on the cover for NCAA Football 14. The last shared cover, for NCAA Football 13, featured Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, and 1988 Heisman winner Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State.

Like Hunter, Ewers has played the older versions of the game after EA Sports stopped producing it in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former players over the use of their names, images and likenesses.

"Obviously, I grew up in an era of playing this game, as it was big for my age group," Ewers told ESPN. "It's been, what, 10 years now since this NCAA game has come out, and to be on the cover with these two guys, I can't really put it into words. It's just an honor."

EA Sports announced the planned return of the game in early 2021 and in December 2022 said the game would be released summer 2024. Every FBS school will be represented, along with the College Football Playoff and bowl games. Dynasty and Road to Glory modes -- two features in the previous NCAA games that were immensely popular -- will return to the game, which will also feature facets of the transfer portal and NIL.

Ewers and Hunter knew each other previously and connected with Edwards before the cover shoot. They posed for pictures together around the Cotton Bowl and did videos, including Ewers throwing a downfield pass to Hunter, who had 57 receptions for 721 yards and five touchdowns last season to go along with three interceptions and five pass breakups on defense.

"Donovan, Quinn and Travis are extraordinary talents who impressed and entertained millions of college football fans on the field last season and are poised to do so again this year," Daryl Holt, senior vice president and group general manager of EA Sports, said in a statement. "We're proud to be able to incorporate thousands of current athletes in College Football 25, and featuring this trio of playmakers and their iconic college programs on the cover is a perfect fit as we usher in a new era for EA SPORTS and college football."

The photo shoot also included actors dressed in uniforms for Notre Dame, Georgia, Alabama, USC, Ohio State, Florida and Oregon. Other than Hunter, Ewers and Edwards, the cover includes jerseys showing the names of Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, Georgia quarterback Carson Beck and Ohio State running back Quinshon Judkins.

Edwards grew up playing NCAA Football and Call of Duty and described NCAA Football as "the best game that I ever played."

"Just the fact that it hasn't come out for a decade, you miss it more," said Edwards, who had 497 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 2023. "The graphics were top tier, the play style was top tier, there was no lag, no glitches in there. I'm just very blessed to be able to be on the cover and to be able to represent the University of Michigan."

ESPN's Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.