Maria Taylor Replacing Sam Ponder on ESPN College GameDay; Laura Rutledge to Host SEC Nation


Maria Taylor will be featured in the reporting roles previously held by Sam Ponder on ESPN’s College GameDay and Saturday night college football telecasts, The Big Lead has learned from a highly placed source with knowledge of the news. Unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter, the source requested anonymity. An ESPN spokesperson declined to comment.

Taylor (left in above photo) played volleyball and basketball at the University of Georgia; she joined ESPN2 as a sideline reporter in 2013, and spent the last three seasons at ESPN’s SEC Network. Last year, she hosted SEC Nation, which is the traveling program where Paul Finebaum and Tim Tebow are analysts. Ponder will be hosting Sunday NFL Countdown this football season.

Per the source, Laura Rutledge (right in above photo), who joined SEC Network in 2014, will be the host of SEC Nation this season. Rutledge has been a reporter for SEC Nation, hosted the program SEC Now, and was the sideline reporter for the ESPN Thursday night college football broadcast team with Dave Flemming and Jesse Palmer last year.