EA Sports dropped its long-awaited gameplay trailer for the July 19 release of College Football 25, which returns after an 11-year hiatus. 

Fans on social media took note of sterling graphics improvement from what we saw in 2013. 

A day earlier, EA Sports announced its cover featuring Michigan's Donovan Edwards, Colorado's Travis Hunter and Texas' Quinn Ewers. The company also announced price points for three separate editions.Key to EA's announcement is the fact there will be three separate editions available for fans to either pre-order or wait to buy on the date it officially hits stores: Standard, Deluxe and MVP. Each comes with its own unique set of content, and each is more expensive than the last.

Players who opted in for "College Football 25" will receive $600 NIL checks, while several high-profile athletes landed more lucrative deals that include branding and trailer appearances for the title ahead of the game's summer 2024 release.

In February, EA Sports confirmed its revival of the college football video game series, which has been on ice since 2013, will release this summer. The company put out a hype trailer and released renderings of some in-game assets, including player models, mascots and stadiums.

Real player jerseys

EA Sports

For the first time in any college sports video game, real player jerseys were front and center in Friday's reveal trailer. Every single athlete featured was just an avatar of its actual flesh and blood counterpart as the NIL efforts that EA Sports put into its game are finally coming to fruition. 

It's similar to Madden, which has had a relationship with the NFL Player's Association for its entire existence and thus has been able to license player likeness. According to EA Sports, well over 10,000 college football players have signed on with its NIL initiative, so most rosters should be accurately represented when the game releases in July. 

Some notable moments include a shot where Georgia edge rusher Mykel Williams sacks Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe. Cover athletes Quinn Ewers (Texas), Travis Hunter (Colorado) and Donovan Edwards (Michigan) have a heavy presence throughout the trailer. 

Traditions take center stage 

EA Sports

It's clear that EA Sports is trying to create as authentic of an experience as possible. Earlier in the development cycle, it asked programs around the country to send in assets, from crowd sounds to uniforms, that would be included in the game in order to nail presentation. 

If the trailer is any indication, EA Sports is leaning hard into college football's more esoteric aspects. Pre-game rituals, live mascots and rivalry trophies were interspersed all throughout the trailer. Here's some of the little nods that we noticed: 

  • Clemson's Howard's Rock 
  • Notre Dame's "Play Like A Champion Today" sign 
  • LSU's Win Bar 
  • Pre-game flyovers 
  • Wyoming's "Steamboat" statue 
  • Texas A&M's 12th Man Towel 
  • Texas' live mascot, Bevo 
  • Wake Forest's mascot, the Demon Deacon, riding a motorcycle 
  • USC Trojan stabbing a sword into the ground at midfield 
  • Penn State's Whiteout 
  • Iowa's Kinnick Wave 
  • Alabama's turnover belt 
  • Florida's Gator Chomp 
  • The Oregon Duck riding a motorcycle 
  • Pittsburgh's turnover basketball hoop
  • The Illibuck Trophy (awarded to the winner between Illinois and Ohio State) 
  • Paul Bunyan's Axe (awarded to the winner between Wisconsin and Minnesota) 

Group of Five gets its time in the sun (and snow) 

EA Sports

College Football 25 will include all 134 FBS programs, after all. In fact, the trailer even opens with a shot of Boise State's iconic blue field, housed inside Albertsons Stadium. Wyoming features heavily as the video progresses. 

There's a brief shot of the Cowboys taking the field for a game in the snow, suggesting that College Football 25 will have dynamic weather based on a university's location. In a similar vein, there's a brief clip where Washington is taking the field in the rain. 

Later on, when the video transitions to some gameplay footage, Wyoming kicks the ball off to Appalachian State in a nonconference road game. Army also gets to showcase its triple-option offense against what appears to be East Carolina. 

New conference alignments on display

EA Sports

The latest wave of conference realignment, which saw several schools find a new home, won't take effect until July 1. Perfect, then, that College Football 25 releases 18 days later, since the reveal gave us a first look at some of these schools in their new digs. 

The SEC patch is visible on both Texas and Oklahoma's jerseys. Same with Colorado and Utah -- which are shown playing one another -- and the Big 12. Florida State running back Roydell Williams carries the ball against California in a game that now has ACC implications. 

Even Army, after almost two decades of independence, is joining the American Athletic Conference -- hence why its digital version would be playing East Carolina.