A CBS sports press release confirms what’s been rumored for weeks: longtime ESPN announcer Brad Nessler is coming to CBS, and after the 2016 season will replace the legendary Verne Lundquist as play-by-play man on “SEC on CBS” games.
Lundquist has called SEC games on CBS since 2000, and after this season-long victory lap he’ll still be with the network, doing college basketball and golf broadcasts. Verne’s still as lovable an institution as ever, even if he’s getting up there in years.
Clay Travis first reported that Nessler would be Lundquist’s heir apparent, and Barry Jackson first reported that Nessler would not re-sign with ESPN, which has seen some high talent turnover this year as it seeks to trim its budget. Sometimes those moves have been good, like saying goodbye to Skip Bayless and Ray Lewis, and hiring Randy Moss; sometimes they’ve been painful, like allowing Mike Tirico to leave for NBC sports.
Nessler, like Tirico, is very very good. A 24-year ESPN veteran, he’s been working college football games for ESPN and ABC since 1997, and was in the booth for Thursday night NFL games from 2011-13. He’ll get his feet wet with some SEC games this year (on weeks CBS broadcasts two) before joining Gary Danielson in the big show in 2017.