ESPN is going to have a big hole to fill in the coming months on their SEC Nation broadcast. Show host Laura Rutledge is slated to take time off for maternity leave, and it looks like the network has found a replacement.
According to The Big Lead, Marty Smith will take over for Rutledge alongside Tim Tebow, Paul Finebaum, and Marcus Spears on the show.
Smith has worked in a variety of different roles for ESPN, including the Marty Smith’s America podcast and the show Marty and McGee, which he co-hosts with Ryan McGee.
Rutledge announced late last week that she was expecting a child and would miss time during the upcoming football season. Per the report, she is still slated to cover the Raiders-Broncos game in the Monday Night Football doubleheader on opening weekend.
An announcement 💗 pic.twitter.com/BmcRLdxrcP
— Laura Rutledge (@LauraRutledge) June 22, 2019
Smith got his start with ESPN covering NASCAR as a reporter, but has seen his role expanding over the years to SportsCenter, NASCAR Now and NASCAR Countdown.
Over the years he has also interviewed the likes of Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Most recently, Smith did various features in the city of New Orleans last week in the leadup to Zion Williamson being drafted by the Pelicans.
— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) June 20, 2019
Laura Rutledge will certainly be missed during the time she’s away, but if Smith is indeed the man to replace her for the time being, it looks like a solid choice.