ESPN Has Found Its New Craig James

We already knew that laughable Senate "candidate" Craig James would not be returning to ESPN—even though he's not going away, apparently—but we didn't know who'd be replacing him as part of the network's Thursday night college football telecast, aside from filling other WWL-related analysis duties. Now we know it'll be College GameDay panelist and former NFL linebacker David Pollack.

Pollack was a standout defensive end in college—we're fairly certain he did not kill five hookers while at Georgia—before becoming a first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2005. His career was cut short when he broke his neck against the Cleveland Browns in September 2006. Pollack joined ESPNU three years ago, but got his big break last year when he started appearing on College GameDay.

USA Today has the scoop in advance of tomorrow's announcement:

As a Cincinnati Bengals defensive end, Pollack says "I didn't care for broadcasters, to be honest. When you're playing, it's almost like you're vs. the media. Coaches always say you should just give vanilla answers."

He only began thinking about TV when he got a lot of time to watch it - after he broke his neck in a 2006 game.

"It took two years of rehab before I could do much of anything," said Pollack Tuesday while vacationing in London. "I remember being in my basement and literally yelling at the TV watching (ESPN2's) Mike & Mike. I realized I really enjoyed (TV). And I'm opinionated. And I didn't have much else I was extremely passionate about."

In addition to Pollack's arrival, the Thursday night telecast is also getting some fresh blood on the sidelines. Jenn Brown is out and in comes Samantha Steele, which is smart since she probably wasn't going back to the Spelling Bee Finals any time soon.

[USA Today]