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Former HBCU football star to cover College Football 25 video game

Travis Hunter made NCAA football history as the only number one ranked high school recruit to commit to an HBCU out of high school when he signed with Deion Sanders and Jackson State University in 2022. Now, heading into his second season with University of Colorado football, Hunter is one of three cover athletes for the most anticipated video game return in history, with the upcoming release of EA Sport’s College Football ’25 on July 19.

Hunter was regarded as a generational talent coming out of high school. A legitimate number-one option on both sides of the ball, he shocked the sports world by flipping his commitment from college football blue-blood Florida State to an FCS HBCU at Jackson State University.

Flipping Travis Hunter is considered one of the biggest recruiting coups of all time and helped establish Deion Sanders as one of this era’s top NCAA football recruiters.

“Coach Prime (Deion Sanders) changed my mind,” Hunter told 60 Minutes about signing to Jackson State. “He let me know how big of an impact I can have on the people, and that is one of the things I wanted — to shine the light on our people ( African Americans) and shine the light on HBCUs.”

Despite undergoing foot surgery during the summer before his freshman season. Travis Hunter played his first game at Jackson State in the season-opening Orange Blossom Classic against Florida A&M before sitting out the first half of the season.

Hunter made his return at homecoming and quickly made an impact playing on both sides of the ball. Intercepting two passes — including a Pick-Six — and had 10 pass deflections. Hunter also caught 18 passes, with four touchdowns during his only season at Jackson State.

After following Deion Sanders to play with the University of Colorado football program, Travis Hunter showed why he’s considered a generational talent. On offense, he caught 58 passes for 721 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Hunter had 30 tackles and 3 interceptions in his first year playing at the power five level for Colorado football.

Heading into Hunter’s second season in Colorado, he’s regarded as one of the top players in the nation. Earning himself a spot as one of three cover athletes for the highly anticipated return of the College Football 25 video game from EA Sports.

EA Sports’ popular “NCAA Football” franchise was suspended after the 2014 edition largely because of a high-profile lawsuit from former UCLA star basketball player Ed O’Bannon. O’Bannon led an antitrust class-action lawsuit against the NCAA, EA Sports, and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) arguing that they were wrongfully using athletes’ images commercially. 

In 2019, California was the first state to pass a law allowing college athletes to be paid for the use of their names, images, and likenesses, this became known as NIL, and by 2021, players across the nation were allowed to sign deals for the use of their name, image, and likenesses, opening the door for the return of the iconic video game.

EA Sports has signed thousands of NCAA football athletes to NIL deals for their appearance in the game. Each offer is for $600 and a copy of the game. More prominent players, like Travis Hunter, will be designated as EA Sports “ambassadors” and are expected to have inked more lucrative deals.

“We were more focused on being on the cover,” Hunter said in a Yahoo Sports article. “We don’t care about NIL. It’s a dream come true.”

Although his time in HBCU football was short, the impact of Travis Hunter’s signing with Jackson State will always be an important benchmark in HBCU football. As his star continues to rise as one of the top athletes in the nation, his time on the yard in Jackson will live on in the lore of college football as a moment where an HBCU was home to one of the best players in the game.

Former HBCU football star to cover College Football 25 video game

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