Professional football players covet two things in each annual installment of Madden NFL--the cherished role of cover athlete and good in-game ratings. There is still a bit of time left until all we find out which player can boast about being on the cover, but we do know one player who is going to be happy with at least one of his ratings.
Devin Hester, the kick returner for the Chicago Bears, is the first player in the series' history to land a perfect rating in speed. An Electronic Arts representative confirmed to GameSpot a report on ESPN.com saying that Hester was given a 100 rating in speed in the upcoming Madden NFL 08, beating the previous mark of 99 set by Deion Sanders, Charles Woodson, Randy Moss, and others.
"That's just about the best thing you could have told me," Hester told ESPN. "It's an honor. I don't know what to say, really."
Hester tore up opposing special teams last year, returning an NFL-record six kicks for touchdowns in his rookie season. For good measure, he returned the first kickoff of this year's Super Bowl for a touchdown, the first time the feat has ever been accomplished.
As for the rest of the speedster's ratings? "My defensive awareness was low--too low," Hester said, "and I definitely need to break more tackles. On a few of my returns last year I feel like I showed what I can do in that category."