Former NFL quarterback and arguably one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history Ryan Leaf will be joining ESPN as a college football analyst.
Leaf’s comeback from battling drug addiction, and serving time in prison, has been extremely impressive, and the new gig with ESPN is just another demonstration of just how far he truly has come.
Leaf is to team up with with play-by-play announcer Clay Matvick, and the two will call games mostly on ESPN2 and ESPNU.
Leaf worked for the Pac-12 Network last season and has also been hosting a show on SiriusXM Radio, on their Pac-12 channel.
“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,” Lee Fitting, ESPN’s senior vice president of production said (h/t ESPN). “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.”
Leaf, 43, discussed his emotions when getting the call about the new job.
“I had to pull off the side of the road. I was really emotional,” Leaf said. “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 said. “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.”