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Team Player: Rece Davis with Rodney Perez

College GameDay's host details the director's many virtues as a colleague, but what's his "real genius"?

(L to R) Rece Davis and Rodney Perez on the set of College GameDay Built by the Home Depot
(Allen Kee/ESPN Images)

Rece Davis never lacks knowledge or enthusiasm passion when hosting College GameDay, thanks in part to the help of director Rodney Perez.

In this installment of Front Row’s “Team Player” series, Davis gives a nod to 15-year ESPN employee Perez for his passion, and how he helps make GameDaywhich this Saturday (9 a.m. ET, ESPN) will be in Baton Rouge, La., before Alabama at LSU – great every single week.

What makes Rodney successful in his role?
He goes to great lengths to make sure that he understands the vision that we have for the show, both from a philosophical level and on a segment-by-segment basis. He has to be aware of the crowd, the signs, what’s happening on the set and find a way to make it tell a story.

Perez on Davis: “He’s that guy you want to run through a wall for”

“I’ve been working with Rece for a long time. I can’t fully express how great it is to work with him. He is that guy you want to run through a wall for. You are not going to find anyone better than Rece. He consistently pushes us to a higher level each week. One of my favorite parts of Saturday morning is when Rece arrives on the stage and we finalize the scene set for the show. This has generated some incredible moments on TV.”

How does he help you do your job to the best of your ability?
We have a lot of fun every week with the scene set, which are the first sights and sounds every Saturday. Some weeks, the moment and the crowd speaks for itself. Other weeks, the crowd may be great, but to capture a sense of place, you need to tap into something that is special to that campus. We collaborate to find something that will be fun, grab the viewer’s attention and fire up the crowd.

Describe an instance when Rodney went above and beyond to help you or the team.
His real genius is picking the sites for GameDay. Not the schools, we don’t let him do that (kidding). He fought tooth and nail for our spot beside the lake at Miami. That location in the heart of campus – where GameDay had never been before – enhanced the show in spectacular fashion. He has great vision and passion, loves being part of the team and is a great teammate. We couldn’t ask for anything more.

Rece Davis and Rodney Perez in the production meeting for College GameDay Built by the Home Depot
(Phil Ellsworth ESPN Images)