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Did Kirk Herbstreit ever play in the NFL?

Kirk Herbstreit
Kirk Herbstreit
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Modified 12 Jan 2021, 15:24 IST
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Kirk Herbstreit has one of the most recognizable voices in American sports, as one of the hosts of College Gameday with Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, Maria Taylor, and David Pollack. Additionally, Herbstreit is the foremost broadcaster in college football, as he can often be found paired up with Chris Fowler, calling the most intriguing matchup of the weekend in college football.

This team is also entrusted with the primary ESPN broadcast of the College Football Playoff Championship. Herbstreit is infinitely knowledgeable about all things college football and has a past as a player, but has he ever suited up in an NFL uniform?

Kirk Herbstreit did not have an NFL career

Although Herbstreit played quarterback for his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes from 1989 to 1993 and earned a varsity letter in four different years, he never made it to the top level of the sport as a player. Herbstreit was not a highly touted player as he graduated college, spending most of his career patiently backing up Greg Frey and Kent Graham before finally taking the reins to the offense as a senior.

Herbstreit's senior year was less than stellar compared to some of his counterparts, but he was a solid starter for the Buckeyes, throwing for 1,904 yards en route to a loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in the 1993 Florida Citrus bowl.

Herbstreit's senior season included 4 games where he threw for 200 or more yards, and Herbstreit set an Ohio State record for completions in a game with 28 against fierce rival Michigan. This record stood until Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith surpassed the mark in 2006, over a decade later.

Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit on College Gameday
Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit on College Gameday

Herbstreit's popularity extends far beyond the view of the casual college football fan, as he is represented all across the ESPN family of networks. Herbstreit is often an analyst or guest on programs like SportsCenter or College Football Live, and even can be found in the old EA Sports NCAA Football games, commentating most of the games in the series before it was discontinued.

Herbstreit and Fowler received national acclaim during their broadcast of the Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Giants Monday Night Football game on week 1 of the NFL season. The pair were considered a breath of fresh air to Monday Night Football viewers, considering they were replacing the broadcast team from the prior year featuring the oft-criticized Booger McFarland.

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Although this pair only got to call one game, Herbstreit paired with Rece Davis to call a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Las Vegas Raiders in week 2 as part of the ESPN2 MegaCast.

Published 12 Jan 2021, 15:24 IST
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