ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Meets Motown with NFL Draft Programming from Detroit Across ESPN Platforms

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ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Meets Motown with NFL Draft Programming from Detroit Across ESPN Platforms

  • College GameDay returns to the NFL Draft live at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday and 4 p.m. on Friday on ESPN
  • A bounty of coaches join the pregame programming on Day 1, including Ohio State’s Ryan Day, LSU’s Brian Kelly and USC’s Lincoln Riley
  • Former Alabama legendary HC Nick Saban kicks off his new role with GameDay and ABC Draft coverage

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot returns to the NFL Draft for the seventh season, going live from Detroit on Thursday, April 25, at 5 p.m. ET (ESPN). The special two-hour kick-off show, followed by ABC’s NFL Draft presentation featuring many of the GameDay cast at 8 p.m., will focus on the stories behind the players, offer exclusive interviews with coaches from across the college football world, and red carpet insight with the draftees.

Friday’s one-hour GameDay begins at 4 p.m., ahead of the 7 p.m. ABC telecast. Saturday’s Day 3 Draft presentation will simulcast on ESPN and ABC at noon.

Host Rece Davis will lead both the ESPN pregame show and ABC’s Draft presentation on Thursday and Friday, joined by GameDay analysts Kirk Herbstreit – former Ohio State quarterback – and Heisman Trophy winner and 1992 NFL draftee from Michigan, Desmond Howard.

In his premiere performance as part of his new role with ESPN, seven-time college football national champion head coach, Nick Saban, will be at the desk offering a coach’s perspective to the group, while 2009 NFL draftee Pat McAfee will join the GameDay crew for night 1 ahead of The Pat McAfee Show Draft Spectacular (YouTube, TikTok, the ESPN App and streaming on ESPN+).

In addition, NFL draft analyst Field Yates will join ABC’s draft coverage for his rookie year, while NFL Draft mainstay Laura Rutledge will be reporting live from the green room interviewing prospects’ families once their loved one is selected, and college football insider Pete Thamel will contribute the latest news and information to the GameDay broadcast.

Coaches’ Corner

ESPN’s GameDay coverage will offer exclusive interviews with numerous head coaches from across the college football landscape. During the Thursday telecast, three coaches with players expected to be first round draft picks, will join the GameDay desk – Ohio State’s Ryan Day (Marvin Harrison Jr.), LSU’s Brian Kelly (Jayden Daniels) and USC’s Lincoln Riley (Caleb Williams), with additional insights from coaches throughout the Draft.

Guests Galore
Throughout Thursday’s show, GameDay will have exclusive access to draftees as they enter on the red carpet. Rutledge will be posted up on site to take in the scene and speak with Draft prospects ahead of the main event, including a trio of QBs – Drake Maye, and Heisman Trophy winners Jayden Daniels and Caleb Williams, as well as wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

Other guests will join Friday’s GameDay and ABC shows and Saturday’s Draft finale. Guest updates and additional announcements will be available via @ESPNPR.


Julie McKay

I joined ESPN in 2022 as a member of the communications department working on college sports. My passion for college sports came at an early age in a divided household (Big Ten Conference-divided, that is) and followed that to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (sorry, Dad). Four years in the Athletic Communications Department, along with internships with the Big Ten Conference, Big Ten Network and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, cemented my career path. After spending some time in sports media PR in San Francisco, I’ve spent five-plus years focused in golf, with stints at the American Junior Golf Association, Augusta National and Buffalo Agency, working with the USGA, Youth on Course and Destination Kohler, among others. Despite being a proud Wisconsin native, I’ll forever betray my home state as a lifelong Chicago sports fan. My dog Rizzo knows there’s always next year and wishes his namesake would return home to the North Side.
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