Veteran ESPN SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy, 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl XXXI MVP Desmond Howard and sideline reporter Laura Rutledge will call the 2017 Bahamas Bowl between UAB (8-4) and Ohio (8-4) for ESPN on Friday, Dec. 22 in Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium at 12:30 p.m. ET. Levy will call the play-by-play for his fourth Bahamas Bowl, Howard (analyst) is working his first Bahamas Bowl and Rutledge (sideline) is working her second Bahamas Bowl (2014).
Steve Levy has been an anchor on SportsCenter since joining ESPN in August 1993, currently on the 11 p.m. ET edition. In addition to his SportsCenter duties, in 2016, Levy returned to the college football play-by-play booth to work a weekly ABC/ESPN afternoon game.
Also in 2016, Levy teamed with ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose to call ESPN’s telecasts of the World Cup of Hockey and in 2017, he and Melrose covered the Stanley Cup Final for SportsCenter for the 23rd consecutive year.
Along the way, he has also handled play-by-play on the NHL (1995-2005) on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports, college football on ESPN2 (1999-2002) and the NCAA Division I men’s hockey semifinals and finals – “The Frozen Four” – in 1998 and ‘99. The versatile Levy has also served as the studio host for ESPN’s NHL telecasts and co-hosted The NFL on ESPN Radio — previewing, reviewing and updating National Football League games all day on Sundays throughout the season.
Desmond Howard joined ESPN in 2005 as a college football analyst. The 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl XXXI MVP joined the network a few years after his remarkable 11 seasons in the NFL. He has been an analyst on the seven-time Emmy-Award winning College GameDay, the network’s signature Saturday morning show originating from the site of one of the day’s best games, since 2005 and also calls ESPN’s mid-week games.
At Michigan from 1988-1991, Howard was the first receiver in Big Ten history to lead the conference in scoring as he set or tied five NCAA records and 12 single-season Michigan records. In 1991, the All-American won the Heisman by the second largest margin of victory in the trophy’s history (85 percent of the vote). He was also awarded the Walter Camp Trophy and the Maxwell Award that year, finishing with 950 receiving yards and 19 touchdown passes. By the end of his college career, Howard had scored 37 touchdowns.
The Washington Redskins selected Howard fourth overall in the 1992 NFL Draft. Howard spent three years in Washington, then moved on to the Jacksonville Jaguars – with whom he scored the first game-winning touchdown in team history – the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, and Detroit Lions. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2000 while playing with the Lions.
Howard had 92 receptions as a wide receiver in his first four years. His 870 punt return yards in a single season remain an NFL record. With a memorable postseason kickoff return of 99-yards in the 1997 Super Bowl, he became the first and only player on special teams to be named Super Bowl MVP. Also in 1996, Howard led the NFL in punt returns, punt return average and punt returns for touchdowns.
In 2011, Howard was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Laura Rutledge joined ESPN’s coverage of the Southeastern Conference in 2014 as a reporter on SEC Network. She covers a wide range of college sports including football, basketball, softball, and baseball. She is the host of SEC Network’s traveling pregame SEC Nation and serves as studio host for SEC Now. In 2016, she joined the team of play by play commentator Dave Flemming and analyst Jesse Palmer to call the Thursday night college football games on ESPN.
For more information on the 2017 Bahamas Bowl, visit BahamasBowl.com. The game is one of 14 postseason bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.