Former Florida Gators quarterback Jesse Palmer has been hired as the lead college football color analyst for the SEC Network, which is set to launch this fall.
The network announced Wednesday that Palmer and legendary play-by-play man Brent Musburger will serve as the lead announce team for the upstart channel, which will air its first game on Aug. 28 when Texas A&M visits South Carolina.
“Brent Musburger is a cultural icon who has been guiding fans through many of sport’s most spectacular moments for decades,” said John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, in a release. “His big-game performance and unmistakable style will elevate our football coverage on the SEC Network. Serving as the definitive play-by-play voice for this major network launch represents an exciting new chapter in his legendary career and reinforces our commitment and investment in the SEC Network.”
Wildhack added: “Jesse Palmer has quickly established himself as one of college football’s most insightful, entertaining and dedicated analysts. As a former SEC quarterback, he brings the perfect combination of playing experience and deep conference knowledge to the SEC Network. Partnering him with Brent on this new national platform will create a memorable booth for college football fans everywhere.”
Musburger, who will also call Big 12 college basketball games as part of his new agreement, covered Palmer when he was one of Florida’s signal callers from 1997-2000. Palmer ‘s new deal keeps him involved with ESPN’s Thursday night college football broadcast and postseason action.
“I am honored and humbled at the rare opportunity to help launch a national network of this magnitude and to do so alongside, Brent, a legend within the sport and the industry” said Palmer. “”Playing in the SEC represented four of the greatest years of my life and I feel incredibly fortunate to now have the opportunity to cover this great conference. Year after year, their on-field success continues the conference’s standard of excellence and their passionate fan base is second to none.”
Musburger and Palmer are the latest additions to an already-stellar cast of on-air talent compiled by the network. Joe Tessitore has been hired to lead the College GameDay-spinoff Saturday pre-game show SEC Nation, which will also have former Gators QB Tim Tebow serving as a college football analyst.
Like Palmer, Tebow will contribute across other ESPN platforms as part of his three-year deal with the network.