Laura Rutledge has become one of the most familiar faces covering SEC football. Rutledge can be seen on SEC Network’s “SEC Nation” and ESPN’s morning show “Get Up!”
From her beginnings at the University of Florida and covering the Tampa Bay Rays to her current role with ESPN, Rutledge is exactly where she wants to be. Rutledge, who has been with the SEC Network since 2014, can be found everywhere these days.
Luckily, I was able to catch her after an appearance with Paul Finebaum last Friday. Here’s our conversation.
Gridiron Now: “What does a normal week look like for you?”
Laura Rutledge: “Depending on where I am, it’s anything, but normal. Monday’s and Tuesday’s, I’m in studio for ‘Get Up!’ From there, I go where the network needs me for coaches and player interviews all while I prep for a visit with Paul Finebaum on Friday and ‘SEC Nation’ on Saturday. I’m constantly prepping while traveling. I have to.”
GN: “Is that something that people don’t realize about you, how much prep work you actually do?”
Rutledge: “Definitely. I was 23 when I broke into this business so I think a lot of people looked at me like ,How much does she really know at that age?’ That’s something I wanted to prove to people and I do that with the knowledge I gain from the prep that I do.”
GN: “What would you say is the biggest misconception fans have about you?”
Rutledge: “I always get a ton of questions about my earpiece and if people are feeding me questions or topics during shows. Those questions and topics are all me. I’ve been blessed to work with people who allow me to be me and respect my input. No one feeds me questions or topics. The earpiece is there for a reason, but it’s not to feed me anything but information as it pertains to cues for the show.”
GN: “You’ve traveled all over the South covering football, if you had to choose one college town with the best food scene, which one would it be?”
Rutledge: “My immediate response would be Nashville, but Nashville is so much more than a college town. I’ll go with Athens. Every time I visit Athens I find a new place that I enjoy. I don’t think they have bad food in that town.”
GN: “What about outside of the SEC? What’s your favorite food town?”
Rutledge: “The Dallas-Fort Worth area would probably get my vote outside of the SEC. It’s got something for everyone.”
GN: “SEC fans can be some of the best, but weirdest in college football. What’s the weirdest request you get from fans while you’re on the road?”
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