ESPN has hired former NFL and Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf to be a college football analyst, another step in the remarkable comeback of the former star who battled drug addiction and served time in prison.
Leaf, who spoke about his recovery this past Friday to a packed Watkins Auditorium at UT Martin, told Thunderbolt Radio News that he’ll mostly call games on ESPN2 and ESPNU, but that he’ll be doing other assignments for the company, as well.
Leaf says he’s excited to branch out from his PAC-12 background into other conferences, including the SEC.
Leaf finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1997 and was drafted No. 2 overall behind No. 1 pick Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft.
Leaf says while their careers went separate ways, he believes he and Manning arrived at the same place.
Leaf is the founder of Focused Intensity Foundation, a non-profit foundation which raises money for mental health and substance abuse treatment for those who can’t afford it. He also serves as an ambassador for Transcend Recovery Community.