David Pollack
refer to caption
Pollack in 2018
No. 99
Personal information
Born: (1982-06-19) June 19, 1982 (age 41)
New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Shiloh (Snellville, Georgia)
College:Georgia (2001–2004)
NFL draft:2005 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:29
Fumble recoveries:1
Player stats at PFR

David M. Pollack (born June 19, 1982) is an American college football analyst and former player who was a linebacker two seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Georgia, was a three-time All-American, and was recognized as the top college defensive player in the nation. Pollack had 36 sacks during his collegiate career, third most in NCAA history. He was a first-round pick in the 2005 NFL draft, and played professionally for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.[1] He suffered a career-ending neck injury in the second game of his second season with the Bengals. From 2011 to 2023, he was a college football analyst for ESPN.

Early life

Pollack was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He attended Shiloh High School in Snellville, Georgia, and was a star in football, basketball and wrestling. In football, as a senior, he was a Class 5A all-state selection and the Atlanta Touchdown Club named him the Defensive Lineman of the Year.

College career

Pollack attended the University of Georgia, where he played for coach Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs football team from 2001 to 2004 and was a roommate of future NFL quarterback David Greene.

For three consecutive seasons, he was recognized as a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection and a first-team All-American (2002, 2003, 2004)—twice as an NCAA consensus first-team honoree, having received the first-team selections of a majority of All-America selector organizations in 2002 and 2004.[2] He is only the second player in Bulldogs team history to earn first-team All-American honors in three seasons, following Heisman Trophy-winner Herschel Walker. In addition to his All-American accolades, Pollack received the following:

His signature play came during the second game of the 2002 season. Pollack batted down a pass from South Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins in the South Carolina end zone and managed to catch the ball in the end zone before it hit the ground; Pollack was credited with a 0-yard interception return for a touchdown. Pollack finished his college career with 36 sacks, a Georgia career record, and ranks third in NCAA history.[citation needed]

He graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in history.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
265 lb
(120 kg)
4.75 s 1.67 s 2.71 s 3.94 s 6.87 s 37 in
(0.94 m)
10 ft 0 in
(3.05 m)
25 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[3]

In his rookie season of 2005, Pollack was a reserve until the Bengals' sixth game, when he became a starter at linebacker. He missed two games due to a sprained knee. However, he still ranked second on the team with 4.5 sacks on the season,[4] and posted 22 tackles and six assists for a total of 28.[4]

In his second NFL season, 2006, he started the Bengals' first game. On September 17, 2006, in game against in-state rival Cleveland Browns, Pollack suffered what was later determined to be a broken sixth cervical vertebrae during a tackle in the first quarter. He reportedly suffered no paralysis, but was taken off the field on a stretcher and underwent surgery to fuse two vertebrae, and was required to wear a halo brace for three months. Pollack's injury was determined to be a possible career-ending one. However, on January 7, 2007, ESPN reported that Pollack would be able to resume his career as long as the rehabilitation process went as planned. On July 11, 2007, it was announced that Pollack would not play at all during the 2007 season as his recovery continued.[5]

On April 22, 2008, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis announced that Pollack was "not completely comfortable where he [was] medically" and that he would retire.[6]

Post-football career

Pollack with Rece Davis and Nick Saban prior to the 2023 National Championship game

Pollack's new company, FanBan, manufactures sports banners that feature sports photographs and college football team logos. FanBan events have raised $4,321 for the YMCA scholarships that help underprivileged kids participate in YMCA programs as of February 10, 2008.[7]

On September 9, 2008, Pollack began a new career as an afternoon sports talk host on Atlanta's 790 The Zone. Also in 2008, Pollack began studio work for CBS's college football coverage. In 2009, Pollack joined ESPN as a college football analyst.[8]

In fall 2011, he became part of ESPN's College GameDay and a host on the Palmer and Pollack show.

In summer 2012, it was announced that Pollack would join Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, and Samantha Ponder on ESPN's Thursday Night Football, replacing Craig James.[9]

In October 2013, he received harsh criticism for his public comments that women should not be allowed to serve on the College Football Playoff selection committee because they had not played the game.[10]

On March 11, 2020, Pollack was announced as one of the newest members of the College Football Hall of Fame. He was announced live on air by his College Gameday colleague, Rece Davis.

On June 30, 2023, Pollack was laid off by ESPN.[11][12]

Personal life

Pollack is a Christian.[13] Pollack is married with one son and one daughter.[14]

David and Lindsey Pollack created The Pollack Family Foundation, an organization with a vision of “… a nation of healthy families” and a mission to “… educate individuals, families and communities on the benefits of nutrition and exercise, and provide them opportunities to embrace healthy living through eating well and physical activity.“[15]


  1. ^ "2005 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 7, 2023.
  2. ^ "2011 NCAA Football Records - Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA.org. p. 11. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  3. ^ "David Pollack, DS #1 DE, Georgia". nfldraftscout.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Surgery could end career of Bengals LB Pollack". ESPN.com. December 14, 2006. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  5. ^ Hobson, Geoff (July 10, 2007). "Thurman still waiting; Pollack out for '07". bengals.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  6. ^ Curnutte, Mark (April 22, 2008). "Pollack expected to retire". cincinnati.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  7. ^ "Former Dogs boost YMCA scholarships". onlineathens.com. February 9, 2008. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  8. ^ "David Pollack".
  9. ^ Hiestand, Michael (June 26, 2012). "ESPN drafts Pollack to replace James on Thursday games". usatoday.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  10. ^ Schwartz, Nick (October 5, 2013). "ESPN analyst says women should not be a part of the College Football Playoff selection committee". usatoday.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  11. ^ "David Pollack, prominent College GameDay host, learns future amid ESPN layoffs". Saturday Down South. June 30, 2023. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  12. ^ "ESPN cutting around 20 on-air stars in dramatic layoffs". June 30, 2023. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  13. ^ Pease, Joshua (August 20, 2019). "ESPN's David Pollack brings both brashness and belief to broadcasting role". Sports Spectrum. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  14. ^ "Meet David". Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Pollack Family Foundation". Retrieved September 5, 2022.