LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — ESPN college football analyst David Pollack will wear multiple hats tonight.
Besides co-hosting ESPNU’s Palmer & Pollack show (5:30 p.m. ET) with Jesse Palmer, he will serve as the presenter of the Chuck Bednarik Award during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN at 7:30 p.m.
In 2004 as a senior at Georgia, Pollack won the honor, given to the College Defensive Player of the Year. The video above shows Pollack receiving the Bednarik, which is named after the former Penn and Philadelphia Eagles star.
Pollack’s TV potential was on display even then, as this quote confirms: “I’m not going to cry because (my college career is) over, I’m going to smile because it happened. It was the best four years of my life.”
Front Row sat down with Pollack during rehearsals to understand what it is like to be in such esteemed company.
What do you remember as a player from your awards week in 2004?
The No. 1 thing I remember from all the banquets was going from spot to spot and devouring all the food. You never eat that good in your life. You gain 17 pounds in the week’s trips to all the events.
You meet all the players throughout the season that you watched on TV and have so much respect for. And, if you’re fortunate to win one, you feel like, ‘Really? Did I deserve to win an award [over everyone in this room] as one of the best college football players in the country?’
When you were at The Home Depot College Football Awards in 2004, did you expect to win the Chuck Bednarik Award?
Absolutely not. That year, it was Derrick Johnson’s (Texas) year. He was killing it on the field. I remember going into award after award with him (and Erasmus James) and I remember thinking Derrick, can I just get one? Then here, at The Home Depot College Football Awards they had us [nominees] in three boxes [on TV] during the reveal. My face — shocked. I couldn’t believe I really just won. I don’t think you ever expect to win.
Do you have any advice for the players going through it this week?
Have fun. Enjoy it. Usually you are so strict and so regimented, this is a good time to let loose — within the rules — have fun with your family and enjoy it. You’ll remember it for the rest of your life.