College football fans have grown to love ESPN’s Laura Rutledge for her coverage of the sport over the years. However, she recently started a new gig, making the jump to covering the NFL.
The longtime college football reporter is now hosting ESPN’s revamped NFL Live. She, along with Mina Kimes, Marcus Spears, Dan Orlovsky and Keyshawn Johnson have provided an incredible show in recent months.
Before starting the new show, Rutledge opened up on what the opportunity meant for her. “Can’t wait to get to work with this exceptional team. They are all so talented and even better people,” she wrote.
“Mina, Marcus, Dan and Keyshawn are all exceptionally talented and a whole lot of fun, and I can’t wait to work with them,” Rutledge added. “We are committed to bringing fans the best NFL coverage. This is a dream come true for me.”
Well, the show has done wonders since the Rutledge and company took over the show. For those that don’t know her – or haven’t watched her college football and NFL coverage – this piece is for you.
Who Is Laura Rutledge?
For those aren’t familiar with the ESPN host, here’s a crash course on who Laura Rutledge is and how she got her start in media. She is a Florida native, who didn’t have to travel too far when she left for college.
Rutledge attended the University of Florida, which sparked a major love for the Gators that lives on today. In fact, her husband is an Alabama fan and the two have heated arguments about their respective sports allegiances to this day (but we’ll get to that later). During her time at Florida, Rutledge earned a degree in broadcast journalism.
Following her time at Florida, she competed in – and won – the Miss Florida competition in 2012. In that same year, she got her start in journalism as a sideline reporter for FOX Sports. She covered both the Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres during her time at FOX.
Laura Rutledge’s Career At ESPN
Rutledge was a sports anchor for CNN’s New Day and Early Start. She also worked on HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade – as well as FOX Sports. Eventually, she joined the Worldwide Leader in 2014 and never looked back.
When she started at the company, ESPN had her covering everything from college gymnastics to the College World Series to life in the SEC college football landscape. ESPN noted her vast experience covering pretty much everything the sports world has to offer.
“Before joining NFL Live, Rutledge was a contributor on Get Up. She has also anchored SportsCenter and hosted red carpet coverage at both The Home Depot College Football Awards and the ESPYs,” ESPN noted in its pressroom piece about her. “Additionally, Rutledge has contributed to ESPN and SEC Network’s live-event programming for college football, basketball, gymnastics, baseball and softball. She was a mainstay in ESPN’s extensive championship coverage surrounding the College Football Playoff, NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships, and both the Women’s College World Series and College World Series.”
After paying her dues – so to speak – Rutledge emerged as one of ESPN’s top hosts and eventually landed one of the top jobs available: hosting NFL Live. The primetime show runs from 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET and features many of ESPN’s top talent.
Meet Josh Rutledge, Laura Rutledge’s Husband
Laura might be the most well-known member of her family, but Josh is no slouch himself. The former Alabama Crimson Tide standout was a third-round pick by the Colorado Rockies during the 2010 MLB Draft.
He eventually made his MLB debut for the Rockies after star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki suffered an injury. Josh started his career on fire, batting .345 for much of the season. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his season and he struggled to keep pace. He eventually finished the season with a .274 batting average, 8 home runs, and 37 RBI.
After a few seasons with the Rockies, Colorado traded Rutledge to the Los Angeles Angels. He spent some time with the Angles AAA team and floated back and forth between the major and minor league rosters. After bouncing around the MLB for a few more years, he officially announced his retirement in 2018.
Following his MLB career, Josh has more time to spend with the family – which might not be a good thing when his and Laura’s alma mater’s do battle. In an interview, The Spun asked Laura what happens when Alabama and Florida face off against each other.
“Yeah so we won’t talk to each other for that entire week,” Laura told The Spun in an interview. “We’ll forget that each other exists – no I’m kidding. We’ll have a lot of fun with it and, you know, it actually has happened even though Florida got totally annihilated by Alabama in the SEC title game so I didn’t have a whole lot to say back to him.”
Well, things obviously don’t get too testy. The couple recently had their first child: a girl named Reese. She’s immediately become a fan favorite after making her college football and NFL picks throughout the course of the 2020 season.
It’s impossible not to love the Rutledge family and what they have done in the sports world over the years.
Laura will continue her climb up the ESPN ladder – if that’s even possible for someone who runs the NFL Live desk.
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