Former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill is now in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, but he’s still a big fan of the college game. With EA Sports kicking off a new season of NCAA Football 12, Tannehill talks about how his love of video games and football collide every year in the annual installment of this legendary series. He also offers some advice to gamers playing as the Aggies.

What videogames did you play growing up?

I played a lot of games growing up. Being a football player I was always at games, so I was always playing NCAA whenever the new one came out. I also played some shooting games like Call of Duty.

What are your thoughts about how NCAA Football has progressed over the years?

It’s huge. You go back and look at the game ten years ago or even five years ago and look at the game now, the graphics have progressed 100 times better.  You see the reality of the game is so much more real.  The ability in the new game for quarterbacks to make throws over linebackers and the ability to anticipate throws I think is huge for me, because that was always the frustration for me.  Being a quarterback I always wanted to anticipate throws.  I have a 10 yard out I want to take my three steps and then throw it out there.  Well, you can’t anticipate in the old game because it changes and it’s taken deep, so being able to anticipate that throw or a throw over a linebacker with some touch, it adds a whole nother element to the game.

Have you found over the years you have an advantage being a quarterback when it comes to playing video games and controlling the quarterback?

I don’t know.  You know I’m not the best video game players so I wouldn’t say that.  I have a bunch of D-line friends that can probably beat me on NCAA, so I don’t know how more realistic it is as far as actually playing on the field and playing on the game, but it’s fun. It’s a good thing to do to relax.

How popular was NCAA Football on your team last year?

It’s huge.  As soon as the new one comes you hear the guys in the locker room. You know they underrated me this.  Like that doesn’t even look like me.  So that’s great and talking in the locker room with the guys, everyone has something to say about the game.

What’s it like to have NCAA Football 12 be part of the NFL Draft experience?

It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s something you always see happening on TV but to actually be at an event like this is great. It’s a lot of fun seeing all the guys that are here and enjoying the new game.

Growing up playing video games, what’s it going to mean to see yourself in Madden NFL 13?

It will be cool. You know being in the first Madden it’s going to be a great experience for me, finally just making it to the next level. And then the video game kind of goes along with that, so it will be something that I’ll enjoy for the rest of my life.

Have you thought about what you’d like your ratings to be in the new game?

I don’t know, I just want them to be high.

What do you consider high?

Well, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to the designers to figure that out.

You can always talk to the EA Sports guys that make the game.

Yeah. I’ll do what I can to pull my stats up a little bit.

When it comes to someone who’s going to pick NCAA Football 13 up and play as your alma mater, what advice would you give them?

Air it out. I think we’ve got a bunch of good guys. A great offensive line coming back. Some young receivers that are really going to stand out for us. Moving to a tough new conference in the SEC, we’re kind of going to be the underdogs this year, but look out for us.

What role do you see as a rookie going into the NFL, Madden NFL 13 could play for you in learning some of the different playbooks and things that are in that game?

I don’t know if that’s huge part of it. I think it’d be fun just to relax and then play. Actually playing on the field is a little bit different than playing on the game.

But do you think that might be part of just your overall research?

I don’t know how accurate the playbooks are, so I don’t really know.

How do you fair when you play games online like Call of Duty?

Oh, in the off season I’m alright. When I first start playing back again, January, whatever, I’m terrible.

It seems like those guys have a lot of free time when they play online.

Yeah. It’s so frustrating when you re-spawn and you take two steps and you’re already dead again.

So is Modern Warfare 3 your current game? 

Yeah. That’s the one I play online if I find the chance.

How do you think your video game playing is going to be impacted this year going into the NFL and learning the new playbook and all of that?

It will probably be extremely cut down.  I didn’t play a whole lot in college, just occasionally, but I think going to the next level, having to learn a new offense and a new playbook, it will definitely cut into my video game time for sure.

It’s a good thing they have really cool games these days on smartphones and tablets for traveling.

Yeah. Technology is crazy. They’ve got games on every type of device imaginable.