PLAYA VISTA, Calif. – It’s been a bit of a whirlwind offseason for Patrick Mahomes. The star quarterback earned MVP honors in his second year and came an overtime away from playing in his first Super Bowl. Since then, it’s been flights, media appearances, photo shoots, and some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like watching Texas Tech play in the NCAA basketball championship. It’s the storybook ascension for a franchise quarterback, and he’s crossing off milestones at a furious rate.
At EA’s offices on the West Side of Los Angeles, Mahomes marked off another achievement: Madden Cover athlete. After a shoot in early April, it was announced Thursday that Mahomes would be the face of Madden 20, joining recent players like Antonio Brown, Tom Brady, Odell Beckham Jr., Drew Brees and yes, that year Peyton Hillis was on the cover.
What makes this year’s game so fascinating is the addition of the “Face of the Franchise: QB1” mode, which tracks a player’s progress as collegiate QB, through the draft, and working his way through the pros in search of greatness. In many ways, Mahomes’ career thus far is the blueprint for what such a mode should look like: college stardom, first-round pick, learning under a veteran QB his rookie season, unleashed in second year, success and heartbreak, and a challenge to keep pushing.
It’s no surprise that Mahomes had some influence over how the new mode would look, offering up his own experience and expertise to the designers. It’s yet another big moment for Mahomes, who at 23, still seems like even he can’t believe his breakout has all happened so fast. But he’ll be the first to tell you – there’s still work to do.
Uproxx spoke with Mahomes the day of his cover shoot to talk Madden, Texas Tech basketball, his own path to greatness, and more.
Martin Rickman: If you look up after January, with everything you did at Super Bowl through this week, going to a National Championship game for basketball and then into a cover shoot. It’s been kind of a wild couple months for you.