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Ryan Leaf hired by ESPN as college football analyst

What will the impact be of the new replay review rules for pass interferences in the NFL? Mike Florio examines what might happen next season.

Ryan Leaf is taking another step in an impressive comeback story.

The former No. 2 overall pick, who has battled addiction and spent time in prison, has been hired by ESPN as a college football analyst.

“Ryan has experienced the highs and lows in the game of football, putting him in a position to relate to a wide range of situations players can find themselves in,’' said Lee Fitting, ESPN’s senior vice president of production. “He will be able to rely on those experiences — including an unbelievable college career where he was an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist — in his analysis, making him a tremendous asset for our team.’'

Leaf will work with play-by-play announcer Clay Matvick and will call games mostly on ESPN2 and ESPNU. He has worked for the Pac-12 Network, and co-hosted a show on SiriusXM’s Pack-12 channel, as he has begun to develop his broadcasting career.

He’s clearly grateful for the opportunity, as evidenced by his social media post last night.

“Five years ago, sitting in a prison cell, I would have never imagined that I was going to be part of ESPN and the Disney Corporation,’' Leaf told the Associated Press. “If you would have told me that, I would have said you are absolutely crazy. And I can’t believe it. I lay my head down every night with a ton of gratitude.’'

His story has been a fascinating one, and now he gets a chance to help others tell theirs.