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ESPN Hires UConn Football Legend Dan Orlovsky as Analyst

The former Husky quarterback is turning professional with his in-depth breakdowns.

Ian Bethune

ESPN announced on Tuesday that they have hired former UConn football quarterback Dan Orlovsky as an analyst for college football and the NFL. He will mostly work as a commentator for college football as a game and studio analyst.

Orlovsky will work Friday and Saturday games on ESPN and ESPN2 with Clay Matvick and Paul Carcaterra. The 12-year NFL veteran will also appear in-studio throughout the season while also appearing on ESPN’s college football programs, SportsCenter and Get Up!, discussing the collegiate and professional game in addition to some work with ESPN Radio.

This past NFL season, Orlovsky got his start as a Twitter analyst when he felt the in-game broadcast wasn’t going in-depth enough on certain plays he felt were key. From SI’s Jonathan Jones:

Cam Newton recognized an all-out blitz, checked at the line of scrimmage and threw a wide receiver screen for a touchdown. Dan Orlovsky saw it all from home, where he was watching Panthers-Dolphins on Monday Night Football with his wife.

Orlovsky listened for the broadcast to explain how genius the check was—Newton had made it a numbers game, understanding where pressure was coming from and finding the soft spot in the defense—an explanation that never came. Orlovsky thought people should know what just happened, but he wasn’t sure how to tell them. Grab your phone, rewind the broadcast on DVR, mute the TV and make a video, his wife told him. So he made the video, posted it on Instagram and Twitter, then went to bed. He awoke to his video blowing up on social media.

Throughout the rest of the football season, Orlovsky continued to breakdown film from his Twitter account, and he continued to receive high praise for it. In April, he attended NFL’s broadcast bootcamp to hone in his craft. He also began appearing on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football once a week and analyzed UConn football at Storrs Central.

However, Orlovsky isn’t a former star like many other former analysts getting into broadcasting — namely former Cowboys Tony Romo and Jason Witten. Instead, Orlovsky was a career backup, something that may give him an advantage.

“[As a backup] I had to get the third-string running back, who’s as dumb as a brick, to understand the same thing as the third-string receiver, who’s very smart,” Orlovsky said in the SI article. “How do I get those guys to understand the same thing? How do I not insult the receiver’s intelligence but also get the dumb guy to understand it? This sounds braggadocious, but you either can or you can’t.”

The news of his hiring had been reported for a few weeks but only became official today. He announced the news on Twitter saying, “To say this is a dream come true for a kid born and raised in CT is an understatement, and I can’t wait to get started.”