Five years ago, David Pollack's football career ended with a thud. But the former University of Georgia star defensive end has resurrected it as one of sportscasting's rising stars.
As Georgia's career sack leader, Pollack was counting on a long career in the NFL. But in only his second game of his second season as a Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, he suffered a broken neck during a collision with Cleveland Browns running back Ruben Droughns.
“It was a freak play,” Pollack said. “I've probably taken a thousand worst hits than that.”
Becoming a sportscaster was the last thing on his mind during his long recovery process in which screws and plates were inserted into his neck.
“It's not something I had ever planned on doing,” he said. “In fact, I wasn't too fond of the media. Some of the stupid questions you get asked. ‘Really, come on man.'”
Pollack eventually gave radio a try, hosting an Atlanta sports talk show. He also gained some TV experience, leading to an audition with ESPN. After two years with ESPNU, Pollack is the newest member of ESPN's college football juggernaut, “College Football GameDay,” which will be in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday to preview the No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 5 Florida State game that night on ABC.
Pollack, who also co-hosts the entertaining “Palmer & Pollack” show on ESPNU (noon-3 p.m. and 8-11 p.m. Mondays) with former Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer, is a shell of his former football self after weighing as much as 292 pounds at Georgia.
“Now, I'm about 60 pounds lighter,” he said. “I lost half a human being.”
For Pollack, 29, he is having the time of his life working with Erin Andrews for the ESPNU hour (8-9 a.m.) and host Chris Fowler and analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard for the two hours on ESPN (9-11 a.m.)