With Mike Tirico moving to the full play-by-play role for Sunday Night Football and Drew Brees making the “lifestyle choice” to exit NBC’s booth, NBC’s Notre Dame coverage needed a new booth. There had been some discussion that their new analyst would be former Dallas Cowboys head coach and New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, which intensified following June’s reports and then official announcement that Garrett had joined their Football Night In America pregame show, but nothing confirmed yet. Now, on Sunday, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported that Garrett will in fact be NBC’s Notre Dame analyst, and he’ll be joined by a surprising play-by-play voice: Jac Collinsworth.
NEWS: Jac Collinsworth & Jason Garrett will succeed Mike Tirico & Drew Brees on Notre Dame games for NBC, The Post has learned.https://t.co/QJlQCAAEuy
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) August 14, 2022
Here’s more from Marchand’s piece:
NBC has found its replacements for Mike Tirico and Drew Brees on Notre Dame football games, The Post has learned.
Jac Collinsworth will be on play-by-play, while Jason Garrett will be the game analyst, according to sources. Garrett has also replaced Brees on “Football Night in America,” NBC’s pregame show. NBC and Brees decided to part ways after just one season. Brees could do a few more detailed Manningcast-type shows for Amazon’s Thursday night games, according to sources.
Collinsworth, a Notre Dame grad, is also expected to continue on “Football Night in America.”
NBC declined comment.
Collinsworth, 27, is the son of NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth. The younger Collinsworth worked with Garrett to call some of NBC’s USFL games this spring. He started his NBC career while still in college at Notre Dame from 2013-17. There, amongst other things, he worked on the sideline production team for Fighting Irish broadcasts, went to the 2016 Rio Olympics for them as a social media correspondent, and served as a sideline reporter at their Blue/Gold spring games in 2016 and 2017.
Collinsworth then went to ESPN as a NFL features reporter and ACC Network host and stayed there until March 2020, when he returned to NBC for a role handling interviews and features across properties. He’s since appeared on coverage of everything from the NFL and the Super Bowl to the Kentucky Derby and NASCAR, and he’s hosted pre-game, halftime, and post-game coverage for NBC’s Notre Dame broadcasts and done a ND on NBC podcast the past two seasons as well.
Thus, Collinsworth will be quite a familiar face to viewers who have watched NBC’s Notre Dame games. But it will be different having him in a play-by-play role. He has called play-by-play at NBC for Atlantic-10 basketball and the USFL, but Notre Dame games (NBC/Peacock have seven this fall) are a significant step up from that. You can see some of him and Garrett together in the booth in this clip from a Week 1 USFL open this April:
Having Garrett in a broadcast booth on a regular basis is also going to be different. Garrett, 56, played in the NFL, WLAF, and CFL from 1989-2004, mostly in the NFL (1989-90, 1993-2004), then went into coaching. He went right into a QB coach role with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 following his retirement, did that for two years, then became the Cowboys’ OC in 2007, then their interim head coach in 2010, and then their full head coach in 2011.
Garrett held that Cowboys’ HC role through 2019. He then spent 2020 and 2021 as the Giants’ offensive coordinator, but was fired from that role last December. So he has plenty of football experience, but not a lot of broadcasting experience apart from his USFL work this spring. We’ll see if he’s able to make that NFL-to-broadcasting transition better than Brees did.