Even in his spare time, former University of Michigan star Denard “Shoelace” Robinson can’t help but carve up defenses.
Virtual defenses, that is.
The NCAA’s all time-leader in career rushing yards by a quarterback appears on the cover of NCAA Football 14, the latest installment of EA’s best-selling college football franchise. This year’s edition introduces the Infinity Engine 2 (an upgrade to the physics engine from Madden 13), a revamped running game, and the addition of Coach Skills, which adds an RPG element to the ever-popular Dynasty Mode.
Shoelace took some time away from preparing for NFL training camp to chat with SI Kids about the game’s new features, his strategy as a play-caller and achieving his childhood dream of being on the cover.
Having grown up with games like NCAA Football and Madden, is it a different kind of honor to be on the cover of NCAA Football 14?
Oh yeah, this has been a big dream come true, you know? I can’t put into words how this feels. I’ve got my dream job and I get to be on the cover of NCAA Football 14? You know, this game is something I’ve played my whole life. I bought the game and I used to tell my friends over the summer, “I’ll be that guy, I’m going to be on the cover!”
Going back to when you played at Michigan, did guys ever get into arguments about their likenesses in NCAA, like not being fast enough or strong enough?
Of course, of course! Guys always argued about that. That’s a given. But guys used to get on there like, “I’m not fast enough!” and stuff. But that’s one of the things that everybody argued about.
Does playing NCAA Football 14 make you miss your days playing football at Michigan?
I’m always going to miss those guys. I was just hanging out with some of them earlier today. It’s always good to be around your teammates and have those memories and those bonds. But you know, it’s always fun.
Have your new Jaguars teammates given you a hard time for being on the cover?
Oh yeah. And I’m like, “Gimme a break fellas!”
Do they expect you to be really good at the game because you’re on the cover? Has anyone challenged you?
Not yet. I told them I was pretty good. So nobody’s really challenged me. I mean, a couple guys can game, but I’ll find out during camp. (laughs)
What do you think kids can learn about the game of football from playing NCAA Football 14?
First off, there’s eye-hand coordination. Another thing they can learn about football is how to deal with people, how to work as a team, how to work as a joint unit. You’ve got to learn how to work with somebody else instead of just trying to win the game by yourself. It’s the ultimate team sport because you need everyone on the field to help you out. You have to depend on other people, you can’t do everything by yourself.
What’s your favorite feature in the game, or your favorite thing to do in the game?
I love playing against people. So exhibition, when I play against anybody that’s the best one. Sometimes I like creating myself in the game and make myself unstoppable. (laughs)
NCAA Football 14 hits stores tomorrow and is available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.