Marty Smith will fill in for Laura Rutledge as the host of SEC Nation this season when Rutledge takes time off for maternity leave, The Big Lead has learned from multiple people with knowledge of the situation. An ESPN spokeswoman declined to comment.
Smith will join the SEC Nation cast of Paul Finebaum, Marcus Spears, and Tim Tebow. The pregame show airs each week from an on-site college football location on the SEC Network. Smith has various roles at the network including the radio show Marty and McGee and his podcast Marty Smith’s America.
Rutledge, who is one of ESPN’s fastest rising stars, announced on social media Friday that she and her husband are expecting a baby girl and as a result will miss time this football season. Rutledge is a regular on ESPN’s morning show Get Up and does sideline reporting for several of the network’s top college football games. The plan is still for Rutledge to work sidelines for the Raiders and Broncos matchup on ESPN’s annual Monday Night Football doubleheader on kickoff weekend.