GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Laura Rutledge was well into what she already pegged the most chaotic week of her career — weekend college football studio duties, plus “Monday Night Football,” had been added to her “NFL LIve” daily schedule — when the ESPN star got a call on her cell phone last Friday that, at least momentarily, broke up the bedlam.
“I was completely shocked,” she said.
In a good way.
Rutledge, as visible and distinguished alum of the University of Florida College of Journalism as anyone in the business these days, was extended and accepted an invitation to be the honorary (and virtual) “Ms. Two Bits” when the 10th-ranked Gators (2-1, 2-1) take on reigning national champion LSU in their Southeastern Conference meeting Saturday at Spurrier/Florida.
She was a student for some of the best of UF’s athletic times, arriving by way of Celebration (Fla.) High as a freshman in 2007, to witness Tim Tebow’s Heisman Trophy-winning season that fall, followed by the 2008 national championship, which happens to be the last time the Gators won the Southeastern Conference crown. While working her way through J-School, Rutledge did a ton of radio for WRUF, but also found a niche writing for recruiting websites, further honing her sports