James Pearce listed as highest-rated edge rusher in College Football 25

Connecticut v Tennessee
Connecticut v Tennessee / Donald Page/GettyImages

Tennessee football missed out on a few of EA Sports' College Football 25 rankings earlier this summer. The Vols were not listed in CFB 25's top 25 teams, offenses, or defenses. While the team hasn't earned the respect of EA Sports, Tennessee defensive end James Pearce has.

EA Sports released the top 100 players in the upcoming College Football video game, and the Vols had one player make the list. Pearce not only made the list, but he was also featured as one of the best players in the game. 

That's not much of a surprise after Pearce's dominant sophomore season in 2023. The 6-foot-5, 243-pound defensive end recorded 28 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, 10.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception for a touchdown. 

Pearce will be rated 95 overall in the upcoming game, making him the second-highest-rated player and the fourth-highest-rated player overall. He is only behind Michigan corner Will Johnson, LSU offensive tackle Will Campbell, and Oklahoma Stare running back Ollie Gordon III.

Pearce is a certified game-changer in the upcoming video game and a player every Tennessee fan will want to play with on defense. 

His 95 overall rating also makes him the highest-rated defensive end in the game and the only defensive end in the top 20. The two next-highest ends are Kentucky's Deone Walker, ranked 93 overall, and Ohio State's Jack Sawyer, ranked 92 overall.

Pearce is expected to be one of the best players in the country this year. He has been projected to be a top-ten pick in the 2025 NFL Draft, with some picking him to go No. 1 overall. 

He will be the premier edge rusher in the SEC and likely throughout the country, and EA Sports is recognizing the elite talent Pearce has coming into the season. We will get to see Pearce and the Vols take the field for the first time on August 31 when they kick off the season against Chattanooga.