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‘I’m just excited to be in the game’: WKU football players speak on EA College Football 25

Brittany Fisher
Western Kentucky University football team steps onto Feix Field in Houchens-Smith Stadium before the 2021 homecoming game against the Charlotte 49ers on Oct. 30.

Electronic Arts is set to release EA College Football 25 in the summer of 2024, a game that will have all 134 Football Bowl Sub-division teams including WKU.

Along with the inclusion of the 134 FBS teams, with the present state of NIL in college athletics, 85 members of a teams depth chart are able to opt-in to the game, allowing EA to use their name, image and likeness. 

“Growing up, you know, you always wanted to be in a video game and our time is finally now,” Defensive lineman Jayden Loving said. 

Along with the opportunity to be in the game, Assistant Athletic Director Collin Stoecker says the game is a special way for Hilltoppers to build their brand.

“I think it’s a really cool way to build your brand that college athletes haven’t had the ability to in the last decade, or really ever,” Stoecker said. “I think that this is the first time, in a really unique way, that NIL is allowing our kids to build their brand through something like a video game.”

EA is offering $600 and a free copy of EA College Football 25 to athletes who opt-in to the game, but WKU defensive tackle Hosea Wheeler says he is not focused on the money.

“I’m not really too focused on that [the money], I’m just excited to be in the game,” Wheeler said. “I’m excited Hilltopper fans can play as me, go sack the quarterback, go have amazing stats like I do in the game. My little brothers can play as me and it’s just a blessing to be a part of it.”

Wheeler, Loving and quarterback Caden Veltkamp are all planning on or have opted-in to the game, and according to Veltkamp, the guys in the locker room are excited by the opportunity.

“Everybody I’ve talked to is really excited,” Veltkamp said. “We’re getting to be put in a video game and we’re getting free money and a free copy of the game that hasn’t come out in a decade, so I think everybody in the locker room is really excited about being in it and excited to play it.”

Over 10,000 athletes had opted-in to the game by March 4 according to the EA Sports College X (Twitter) account. No official release date for the game has been announced.


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