Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will appear on the cover of Madden NFL 15, publisher Electronic Arts announced on Friday.
The announcement came during an evening episode of ESPN's SportsCenter. Sherman, who played a major role in the Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII victory this past February, defeated Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in a fan vote for the cover athlete. They were the two No. 1 seeds in the bracket; Newton also came in second two years ago, when Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson graced the cover of Madden NFL 13. You can see a screenshot of Sherman in Madden 15 above.
Fans cast approximately 10 million votes this year, a much lower number than in previous campaigns because EA scaled back the bracket from 64 athletes in 2013 (which pulled in 40 million votes) to just 16 players this time around. On his way to winning the vote, Sherman left players such as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his wake.
"Defense is a big focus for Madden NFL 15, and Sherman is one of the brightest defensive stars in the NFL," said Anthony Stevenson, vice president of global marketing for EA Sports, in a press release. Shortly before the cover athlete announcement, EA released Madden 15's first gameplay trailer, which highlighted the game's focus on defense by featuring Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Madden NFL 15 will be available Aug. 26 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Check back later this week for more coverage of the game from E3 2014.