ESPN Announces Major College Football Analyst Hire
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit is seen during ESPN’s College GameDay show at Times Square on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)The Worldwide Leader has added a big name to its college football analyst roster ahead of the upcoming 2019 season.Ryan Leaf, the former Washington State star quarterback and No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, has joined ESPN.ESPN announced the hiring this evening.“Ryan has experienced the highs and lows in the game of football, putting him in a position to relate to a wide range of situations players can find themselves in,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN’s senior vice president of production. “He will be able to rely on those experiences — including an unbelievable college career where he was an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist — in his analysis, making him a tremendous asset for our team.” Great to have you aboard @RyanDLeaf and thanks for your willingness to help others by having the courage to share your story. 👊 https://t.co/x6AHflFsYd— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) July 14, 2019Leaf will work with play-by-play announcer Clay Matvick and “will mostly call games on ESPN2 and ESPNU,” per the announcement.The former Washington State star has quite a life story. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist that became a top NFL Draft pick, only to have a disappointing four-year professional career. Leaf then got into some major off-the-field trouble, dealing with drug addiction and serving two years in prison.“Five years ago, sitting in a prison cell, I would have never imagined that I was going to be part of ESPN and the Disney Corporation,” Leaf told the AP. “If you would have told me that, I would have said you are absolutely crazy. And I can’t believe it. I lay my head down every night with a ton of gratitude.”Leaf reportedly got the offer from ESPN about a month ago.The 2019 college football season begins in a little more than a month.