Behind The Scenes

For the College Football Awards, ESPN’s Samantha Steele transitions from sidelines to red carpet reporting

ESPN’s Samantha Steele (left) and David Pollack. (Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Some people dream of walking down a red carpet while myriad cameras capture their every step.

Samantha Steele dreamed of stepping in front of one camera, on a freshly painted green grass field every week in the fall. That dream came true this year and the ESPN rookie has now wrapped up her first Fall as the sideline reporter for the ESPN Thursday Night College Football game and host of ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot on ESPNU.

Tonight, like the 24 players nominated for The Home Depot College Football Awards, she’s stepping out from under the stadium lights onto the Disney Boardwalk. Steele will host of her very first red carpet ceremony tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU, recapping the season and outstanding accomplishments of players from 21 teams, including the three Heisman Trophy candidates: Johnny Manziel, Manti Te’o and Collin Klein.

Steele has more than just red carpet duties and will continue alongside her College GameDay colleagues during The Home Depot College Football Awards at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN and again on ESPNU during The Home Depot College Football Awards Recap Special closing the night at 9:30 p.m.

Steele gave Front Row a few of her thoughts prior to tonight’s red carpet debut:

Which of your gameday cohorts would ask for advice on what to wear on the red carpet?
First things first, not David Pollack!

I would definitely ask Desmond Howard. I think he has a good feel for what’s cool now, he lives in Miami, he won a Heisman and he’s been to a lot of awards-type shows.

Who are you most looking forward to talking to on the red carpet?
Wow, there’s a lot of big time people out here for the show. But I’ll say “Johnny Football” because he’s a freshman and we haven’t heard a lot from him.

Who do you think will be most well-dressed?
This one is really easy for me. Collin Klein is married so he has a significant advantage on this one because his wife is probably helping him pick out his entire outfit. The other guys are just at some men’s clothing store or something like that.

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