Jordan Rodgers was the frontrunner for an ESPN sportscasting gig long before he became famous on The Bachelorette. Rodgers recently made headlines for winning JoJo Fletcher’s heart on the ABC reality show and for landing a job as a college football analyst for the SEC Network, but an ESPN executive told Sports Illustrated that Aaron Rodgers’ little brother had been on the network’s radar long before he stood in line for JoJo’s roses.
“[Jordan] didn’t need the show to get our attention,” ESPN’s Stephanie Druley told SI.
“His name was in the initial group of names that we discussed when looking at people to bring to Charlotte [where the SEC Network is located] for auditions. He played at Vanderbilt. He played quarterback. We had seen some interviews that he had done. So we reached out to him.”
Druley said Jordan Rodgers’ experience as a quarterback at Vanderbilt University qualified him for the SEC TV gig. And while he wasn’t hired due to his reality TV experience, it didn’t hurt that he knows how to work his way around a camera.
“The advantage Jordan had when he sat down in front of our cameras [at his audition] in Charlotte was that he had just spent the past three months in front of a camera or many cameras,” Druley said. “I think that’s the advantage it gave him.”
The ESPN vice president joked that the only negative about Rodgers was that “his hair might be too high for our network.” Luckily, Jordan’s vast knowledge of college football offsets his hair gel expertise.
“We waited until the show was a few weeks into its run before we made an offer. He accepted the offer the day I was in an airport and saw US Weekly with him splashed across the cover.”
Jordan Rodgers begins his new job as a college football analyst on ESPN’s channel dedicated to coverage of the Southeastern Conference starting August 23. Coincidentally, ABC and ESPN are both owned by Disney, a fact that was not lost on some of Rodgers’ critics, including his Bachelorette nemesis Chad Johnson, who accused Rodgers of finally getting what he really wanted out of his stint on the ABC dating show.
“Looks like @JRodgers11 got what he wanted out of all of this,” Johnson tweeted. “Way to play your role buddy! #TheBachelorette.”
Just ahead of Jordan’s Bachelorette debut, his father, Ed Rodgers, told KRCR TV that Jordan never had trouble in the dating department. Ed Rodgers added that his son was planning to pursue a career in sportscasting and that a stint on the popular reality dating show probably wouldn’t hurt his chances.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Jordan Rodgers addressed the tabloid rumors that called him a “fraud” and accused him of using JoJo Fletcher for fame.
“There’s been a lot of harsh and very untrue allegations along the way,” Jordan said. “Any of that is so not true that it’s not even worth time to [address], I’m just happy to start life with my new fiancée.”
Jordan Rodgers recently dished about his SEC gig in a conference call with reporters.
“I’ve been doing broadcasting for the past year — doing radio for ESPN and doing some TV stuff here and there,” Rodgers said. “That’s the conference I played in. That’s kind of my knowledge base.”
According to CBS Local, Rodgers revealed that he is moving from California to JoJo’s hometown of Dallas, Texas, and that his career plans will not change his career plans will not change with the move.
“My career doesn’t change,” Jordan told reporters. “I own a company that does nutrition coaching, and I’ll be doing that from Dallas as well. That company is building and growing — [it’s] something I’m passionate about… and I’ll be working with ESPN and SEC Network as a college football analyst. So it’s not getting back to normal because it’s a much more exciting chapter of our life.”
While Jordan Rodgers is talking about his new chapter with his new fiancée, some critics have noted that his latest Instagram posts with Fletcher are more about sponsorship than finding love. Both Bachelorette alums recently posted snaps thanking Trip Advisor Vacation Rentals and Luxury Retreats for a recent sponsored getaway.
Take a look at the video below to see Jordan Rodgers talking about his post-Bachelorette fame.
[Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images]