Denard Robinson is the EA Sports 'NCAA Football 14' Cover Man

The Heisman may have proved elusive for Denard Robinson during his days in Ann Arbor, but that didn't stop him from joining an elite fraternity. This week, Robinson became the 25th player to grace the cover of EA Sports' NCAA Football.  

The cover has been kind over the years, no Madden jinx to be found. Even without a jinx, the success of the former cover boys varies. Some can be found basking in the professional spotlight, while others are far removed from their gridiron glory. Let's take a walk down memory lane. 

College Football USA '97 - Tommy Frazier

 

Arguably the greatest option quarterback to ever live, Frazier led the Cornhuskers to two back-to-back AP national championships in '94 and '95. He's also the author of one of the greatest runs in bowl history. 

Frazier, due to a blood clot in his left leg, was not drafted by an NFL team and spent just one year playing professional football in Canada. Frazier is now a development officer with Alegent Health System in Omaha and the host of "The Husker Express Radio Show with Tommie Frazier."

NCAA Football 98 - Danny Wuerffel

 

He made Steve Spurrier's Fun 'n' Gun offense a revolution in the mid-90s. Wuerffel capped off his '96 campaign with a Heisman and a national championship.  

His NFL career was a bust, bouncing around the league with short stints in New Orelans, Green Bay, Chicago and Washington. Wuerffel is currently engaged in non-profit work, focusing on Christian Missions in the Deep South.  

NCAA Football 99 - Charles Woodson


He is the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy. He won a national title in '97 with the Wolverines and also took home the Walter Camp, Bronko Nagurski, Chuck Bednarik and Jim Thorpe awards.  

The eight-time Pro Bowler was named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in 2011 as a member of the Green Bay Packers. 

NCAA Football 2000 - Ricky Williams


The "Texas Tornado" left Austin as the all-time leading rusher in the history of college football. The record has since been broken, but his legacy lives on in Longhorn country. The mercurial back may not have been a fan favorite in the NFL but he did record over 10,000 career rushing yards. 

In preparation for life after football, Williams studied holistic medicine at California College of Ayurveda in California in 2004.

NCAA Football 2001 - Shaun Alexander


Alexander remains the all-time leading rusher in the history of Crimson Tide football (3,565). He won an MVP in the NFL and scored 100 career touchdowns.  

Now retired, Alexander travels the country preaching his Christian faith to youths. He is also the author of The Walk: Clear Direction and Spiritual Power for Your Life.

NCAA Football 2002 - Chris Weinke


After spending six seasons as a professional baseball player, Weinke decided to play college football for FSU. It worked out. Weinke became the oldest Heisman winner, edging out Oklahoma's Josh Heupel at the age of 28.  

Weinke is now the director of IMG's John Madden Football Academy.  

NCAA Football 2003 - Joey Harrington


Harrington was larger than life back in his days in Eugene, literally. Despite his failures in the NFL, much of Oregon's current success can be tracked back to his playing days with the Ducks.  

Harrington is now a co-host of Fox's College Football Pregame Show with Eddie George and Erin Andrews.  

NCAA Football 2004 - Carson Palmer


Palmer brought the Trojans back to prime time, leading USC to an Orange Bowl win over Iowa in 2003. He also got USC rolling at the Downtown Athletic Club, winning the 2002 Heisman. Leinart and Bush would go on to win in '04 and '05 for the Trojans.  

The Raiders are currently trying to renegotiate Palmer's contract.

NCAA Football 2005 - Larry Fitzgerald


Fitzgerald is one of the greatest football players to ever live. Before bolting from Pitt for the NFL, Fitzy set an NCAA record by hauling in a touchdown reception in 18 straight games. He hasn't slowed down in the NFL, making seven Pro Bowl appearances during his nine year career.  

NCAA 06 - Desmond Howard


Desmond Howard is the last Heisman winner to be named Super Bowl MVP.  By the time Howard left Michigan he had set or tied five NCAA records.

He is featured on ESPN's "College GameDay," making him one of the most recognizable sports figures in America.    

NCAA 07 - Reggie Bush


One of the most electrifying players in the history of college football, Bush set numerous records while in LA, most notably the Pac-12 record for all-purpose yards with 513 yards against Fresno State in 2005.  

His NFL returns have been much more modest, but he has rushed for over 2,000 yards in the last two seasons.  

The Modern Era (PS3 & XBOX 360)

NCAA 08 - Jared Zabransky

You may remember Big Z from the greatest football upset of all-time. Since then he's bounced around the NFL and the CFL.  

NCAA 09 

PlayStation 2DeSean Jackson

D Jacc spurned his hometown of LA by turning down an offer from the Trojans, heading instead to Cal where he became one of the most feared players in the Pac-10. He was the first player in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl at two positions in the same year (KR, WR). And then there's this.

PlayStation 3Matt Ryan

Matty Ice was named the ACC Player of the Year in 2007 and finished seventh in the race for the Heisman. Since leaving Boston College Ryan holds the NFL record for most regular season wins by a quarterback in his first five seasons (56).  

PSP — Owen Schmitt

The runaway beer truck. Schmitt has played for three teams in his five year career, lowering the boom for the Seahawks, Eagles and Raiders.  

Xbox 360Darren McFadden

McFadden finished as the runner-up for the 2006 and 2007 Heisman Trophy after posting monster numbers in Fayetteville. Mainly due to injury, he's only broken a thousand yards once in his five year career in the NFL.  

NCAA 10

PlayStation 2Brian Orakpo

Orakpo was an unanimous All-American selection in 2008 at Texas and needed a U-Haul to bring all his awards back to Houston. Injuries have stymied a promising career that saw Orakpo make back-to-back Pro Bowls in '09 and '10.  

PlayStation 3Brian Johnson

One of the most shocking bowl upsets of all-time came when BJ led the Utah Utes to victory over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.  Johnson is now the offensive coordinator of his alma mater.  

PSPMark Sanchez

The MVP of the 2009 Rose Bowl, Sanchez thrilled fans in LA with his arm and mobility.  His NFL career has been summed up in two words: butt fumble

Xbox 360Michael Crabtree 

A two time winner of the Biletnikoff and the recipient of the biggest pass in Texas Tech history, Crabtree embodied the "Big Man on Campus" role. He's increased his production in the NFL in each of his first four seasons, which led to a 85/1,100/9 season in 2012.  

NCAA 11 

Tim Tebow

Tebow was college football there for a few years. Two national titles, a Heisman and a pose. He's been a lightning rod in the NFL, occasionally for the right reasons, but mostly for the wrong ones.  

NCAA 12 

Mark Ingram

Ingram bulldozed his way to Alabama's first Heisman in 2009. Ingram has yet to break through in the NFL, sharing carries in the Saints' backfield.  

NCAA 13


RG3 and Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders' collegiate numbers are just silly. He ran for 2,628 yards during the 1988 season … in 11 games. Sanders then went on to a hall of fame career in the NFL. RG3 set the world on fire during his junior campaign in Waco and then resurrected the once-proud Redskin franchise in the nation's capital during his rookie season.  

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Michael Calabrese

Currently he is the editor-in-chief of My Halls of Fame (MyHOFS.com), a contributing writer for Football Nation and a featured guest on Sirius/XM's Fantasy Sports Channel. He graduated from Loyola College in Maryland with a BA in Writing & Political Science. When Mike isn't writing, his interests include watching anything produced by AMC and running his two fantasy leagues (college football and college basketball).

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