NOTICE: The views expressed in The Vermilion's opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect those of The Vermilion staff or of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

OPINION — Electronic Arts (EA) is bringing back their college football video game franchise and it will benefit schools like the University of Louisiana at Lafayette massively.

If you watch college football, you know that it is no secret that it is a popularity contest when it comes to recruiting players. The release of this game will help some smaller schools gain notoriety and favor.

Now, UL Lafayette isn’t considered a small school, especially after being ranked as the 15th best college football team in the United States by the AP poll, but when it comes to recruiting high caliber players, we do not get the pick of the litter. Alabama, Louisiana State University (LSU) and Ohio State, those names that are big buzz names in the media get to pick from the best players each recruitment day.

UL Lafayette being in the NCAA game that will be released soon will show young and upcoming players that UL Lafayette has a football program ranked 15th. Seeing that, they may put UL Lafayette as a place they want to play when they are being recruited.

On top of UL Lafayette being ranked 15th and getting attention from that, they have also had several players get drafted to the NFL. I expect to see a few Cajuns drafted this coming draft and in the future.

Having the NCAA video game can help reach young football players across the country because most people do not know about the Cajuns. Most college football news known in Louisiana is LSU for obvious reasons.

But now it is time for the Cajuns to get some love and notoriety. Too many times I have been watching college football, and there is a kid that is absolutely killing it. I think to myself where is he from? Most of the time he’s from Louisiana, but we do not have first dibs.

The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith is from Louisiana, but picked Alabama because, I mean, it is Alabama. All jokes aside though, the university has a good football program. You do not get ranked 15th in the nation accidentally.

Having the video game to get our name out there will get us recruiting some big names which will increase attendance at games. Which in turn increases revenue for the school to make better facilities and staff for the athletes.

A lot of schools will have this benefit too. There is college football all around the nation, but no one knows every college football team by heart. Getting their names out there with the video game could break up a lot of these dynastic teams like Alabama and Ohio State who always have good teams.

Treading toward a more open college football season as opposed to the same four or five teams playing for the national title will also bring more money to the NCAA. When that happens, maybe they could reconsider paying these athletes.

This return of the college football video game franchise has a ton of upside to it for everyone involved. Fans get the game they have been asking for back, schools essentially get free marketing and the NCAA can profit from it.

It is a win-win situation, so buckle up, because college football is about to get fun again.

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