College Football 25 player ratings: Who's No. 1? Which players are underrated?


The long-awaited return of EA Sports’ college football video game got a little more real on Wednesday when EA released its ratings of the top 100 players in College Football 25 ahead of the game’s official July 19 launch date.

Michigan cornerback Will Johnson is the game’s highest-ranked player and one of three with an overall rating of 96, joined by LSU left tackle Will Campbell and Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon II. CFB25 cover athletes Travis Hunter (No. 6 overall, 95 rating), Quinn Ewers (No. 27 overall, 92 rating) and Donovan Edwards (No. 49 overall, 91 rating) all landed within the game’s top 50 players.

EA developers have touted the attention to detail they’ve poured into the video game’s production to reward diehard fans and realistically capture the college game’s defining qualities. How’d they do in their assessments of this season’s biggest stars? Chris Vannini, Antonio Morales, Nick Baumgardner, Max Olson and Manny Navarro dive into the rankings and ratings below to offer their initial thoughts before full rosters are revealed with the game’s official launch on July 19.

1. What stands out about the top 10 players in the game?

Vannini: There are 10 players rated 95 or higher in this game. Only six players received that high of a rating in the most recent game, NCAA Football 14, and all of them were quarterbacks. EA Sports used to hand out high ratings like hot cakes in the mid-2000s — there were 41 players rated a 96 or better in NCAA Football 06. Those numbers came down in the ensuing years, so this isn’t a return to that level. But heading into a season that seems to lack star power, perhaps these high-end ratings will change our perception.

Morales: Colorado’s Travis Hunter is listed as a receiver, so I’m curious to see how/if his rating shifts at corner. And Tennessee edge rusher James Pearce Jr. is going to be fun to use. He’s a 95 overall with 88 speed off the edge, which is comparable to some high-end receivers and running backs in the game.

Baumgardner: Football video games aren’t as fun without really good running backs. And while I get EA Sports being an Ollie Gordon fan, you won’t find many NFL evaluators who believe he’s the third-best player in the country. I’d take Ohio State’s Quinshon Judkins, coming in at No. 9, as RB1 — and I wouldn’t have Judkins in my top 10 either. Georgia edge Mykel Williams (No. 20) is way, way too low. He could wind up a top five NFL Draft choice.

Olson: Is it foolish to say I was fully expecting Travis Hunter to be the No. 1 player in the game? He’s clearly going to be one of the best in a ton of different ratings with his speed (95), acceleration (96), awareness (97) and jumping (97), and I’m guessing nobody has a better stamina rating than the dude playing more than 110 snaps per game. That’s why he’s rated ahead of fellow top receivers Luther Burden III and Tetairoa McMillan, but I figured he’d be ahead of everyone else, too.

Navarro: I’m with Max. I expected Hunter to be the best player in the game because he’s on the game’s cover and a ridiculous two-way threat. I also wasn’t expecting to see an interior offensive lineman in the top 10. Even if Georgia’s Tate Ratledge is elite, why not give one of those top-10 spots to an elite playmaker like Burden, McMillan or Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka? There’s nothing fun about linemen.

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EA Sports releases top QBs in CFB25: Did they get the top 8 right?

2. Which player not in EA’s top 100 most belongs there?

Vannini: I’m surprised NC State quarterback Grayson McCall isn’t in the top 100. He was a three-time Sun Belt Player of the Year at Coastal Carolina, and he broke the FBS record for pass efficiency in 2021. He’s a dual-threat QB who will be a ton of fun to play with. Given all that experience and success, I figured he’d be in the top 100 and ahead of some QBs who did make the list.

Morales: Assuming he opted into the game, it’s somewhat surprising to not see Ohio State defensive lineman JT Tuimoloau among the top 100 players in the game. Tuimoloau doesn’t have overwhelming stats, but based on potential, the flashes he has displayed in some important moments and his preseason hype, I think I expected him to be listed.

Baumgardner: For your consideration, the All-EA Sports Snub Team: Tuimoloau, Texas receiver Isaiah Bond, Georgia OT Earnest Greene III, Penn State edge Dani Dennis-Sutton, Texas A&M DT Shemar Turner, Ole Miss edge Princely Umanmielen and Oklahoma receiver Deion Burks.

Olson: I was a little surprised to see Tuimoloau not make the cut for the top 100, though I’m assuming he’s not far behind the rest of his highly rated Buckeye teammates. He’s certainly a big-time talent with first-round potential. A couple other notable omissions for me were Oregon offensive lineman Ajani Cornelius, Georgia lineman Xavier Truss and Ole Miss tight end Caden Prieskorn.

Navarro: Tuimoloau is the obvious choice because he’s got first-round potential. There are a couple of other big-time transfers who didn’t make the top 100. I would include Texas defensive back Andrew Mukuba and Longhorns receiver Isaiah Bond among those. Georgia running back Trevor Etienne and Miami quarterback Cam Ward are others. But I honestly don’t think EA missed much.

CFB25’s top-rated quarterbacks

Player School Overall rank Overall rating

Shedeur Sanders

17

93

Carson Beck

18

93

Quinn Ewers

27

92

Dillon Gabriel

30

92

Jalen Milroe

71

90

Jaxson Dart

73

90

Jalon Daniels

79

90

Kaidon Salter

90

90

3. Which top-100 quarterback’s evaluation surprised you most?

Vannini: It has to be Shedeur Sanders. He was much better than I expected in his first season at Colorado after transferring from Jackson State, and you definitely do see flashes of NFL talent. Having him tied with Carson Beck as the highest-rated quarterback seems a bit much, but it does follow the trend we saw from the game’s handling of Colorado in its team ratings. EA Sports knows a lot of people are going to play as Colorado, and it’s understandable they would want them to be as fun as possible to use.

Morales: I think Carson Beck is better than Shedeur Sanders and they have the same rating. So there’s that. Nothing else in particular though. I think Quinn Ewers, Jalen Milroe and Jaxson Dart are pretty interchangeable as the next-best SEC quarterback after Beck, so I think an argument could be made for a different order there. And Kaidon Salter should be one of the most fun quarterbacks in the game, so it was good to see him in the mix.

Baumgardner: Shedeur Sanders. Though, also: Not really. He’s going to sell video games, it makes sense. He’s not better than Carson Beck. I’m not sure he’s better than Quinn Ewers right now, either. It’s close. For me, Sanders enters this season as a fringe first-round passer — probably a tick better than Ewers, but comfortably behind Beck. It was cool to see Jalon Daniels get some recognition, by the way. When he’s on, he’s one of the most exciting players in college football.

Olson: I was genuinely surprised we only got eight quarterbacks in the initial top 100, and that makes me very curious to find out who fills out the top 10 between Cameron Rising (Utah), Cameron Ward (Miami), Noah Fifita (Arizona), Riley Leonard (Notre Dame) and others. Seeing Daniels and Salter rated as highly as they were was a pleasant surprise, but it makes sense given they’re two of the best dual-threat playmakers in the country. The Jayhawks have a top-15 offense in the game, and I guarantee I’m going to be playing with them quite a bit.

Navarro: Fifita led the Wildcats to their first 10-win season since 2014, earned Pac-12 Freshman Player of the Year honors and has the fourth-best QBR among returning Power 4 quarterbacks. The fact he’s not among the top eight at the position surprised me. I bet he’ll be there by the end of the season.

4. What else about the top 100 interests you?

Vannini: It’s going to be fun to look back at the final top 100 player ratings after the season and compare them to this list. EA Sports will update player ratings throughout the season based on who has surprising breakout years. Freshmen and young quarterbacks in particular will probably start lower than you expect. Where will Kansas State quarterback Avery Johnson be at the end? Where will Tennessee QB Nico Iamaleava be?

Morales: Colorado State receiver Tory Horton, who checks in at 91 overall and is a top-50 player in the game, has had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, and if someone decides to pick the Rams for a Dynasty, Horton could wreak havoc against most of the defenses he sees in the Mountain West.

Baumgardner: Nothing’s ever perfect, but EA made sure guys like Liberty QB Kaidon Salter, Colorado State WR Tory Horton and Boise State running back Ashton Jeanty made the list. It’s hard to hate on a top 100 that features mostly power conference talent in 2024, as that’s the most accurate state of college football now with NIL money and immediately eligible transfers. They did a nice job making sure not to overlook some of the best non-power league players.

Olson: We love to overreact to ratings, but it’s extremely exciting to know EA Sports finally has the capability to make in-season updates to these college rosters. Think back to NCAA Football 13. Johnny Manziel, the future Heisman Trophy winner, was “QB #15” in the game with a 78 overall rating and 75 speed. When superstars like him emerge out of nowhere, you want the game to adjust accordingly. I hope EA’s ratings crew will push out frequent revisions during the season and reward those studs who surprise.

Navarro: I’ll be interested to see how much these player ratings end up mirroring the grades Pro Football Focus puts out by the end of the season compared with who actually makes all-conference teams and wins awards. When we last played this game live in 2013, we didn’t have readily available player evaluations and analytics to the extent that we do today. It’s going to be interesting to see how that affects player rankings updates.

(Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)





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