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Friday, February 8, 2013
E.J. Manuel wants your 'NCAA' cover vote

By Jon Robinson

Ask E.J. Manuel why he should win the “NCAA Football 14” cover vote, and he flashes a smile fit for any EA Sports poster.

“I played for Florida State and that’s one of the more traditional schools in college football. I had a great career at Florida State, and I’m a huge fan of the EA Sports games,” says Manuel. “I love playing ‘Madden,’ ‘NCAA’ and ‘FIFA.’ It will be a great opportunity for me, and a great opportunity for Florida State.”

EJ Manuel
As Florida State's starting QB, E.J. Manuel helped bring the 'Noles back to national relevance.
Manuel has been playing “NCAA” since 2000, but has been playing “Madden” since the classic “Madden 95” on Sega Genesis.

“Every year in ‘Madden,’ they add something new that really changes how you play,” he said. “I remember when they first added the Hit Stick, I missed so many tackles trying to smash people, but when I finally hit you, it was a blow.”

In terms of “NCAA,” Manuel tells me that he plays only as Florida State, even if his character in the game looks nothing like him.

“I didn’t really like how they gave me dreadlocks. I’ve never had dreads in my life, but I understand, they can’t make you exactly how you are,” says Manuel, talking about the restrictions the NCAA puts on EA Sports when creating players. “But I love how they have Florida State in the game, and our stadium is on point. It looks just like it does in real life. Everything about the game is so realistic, it’s like you’re out there playing for Florida State, even though you’re playing on your couch.”

But when it comes to Manuel’s favorite game, it’s a different kind of football that captures his attention.

“I love ‘NCAA,’ don’t get me wrong, but I’m actually online all the time playing ‘FIFA,’” Manuel said. “Xbox 360 all day. ‘FIFA’ is my game.”

Check out the official EA Sports “NCAA Football” Facebook page to cast your vote for E.J. Manuel.