Rece Davis taking over as host of ESPN's 'College GameDay'

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BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Rece Davis is taking over as host of ESPN's "College GameDay," with Chris Fowler focusing on calling the Saturday prime-time games.

Davis has signed a contract extension through 2021, the network said Thursday.

"I've cared deeply about college football my entire life," Davis said in a release from ESPN. "As a result, I'm humbled and grateful to join the brilliant men and women who have built GameDay into the sport's defining show."

Fowler had hosted "GameDay" since 1990. Last season, he became ESPN's lead play-by-play announcer for college football, replacing Brent Musburger.

That meant sometimes hosting "GameDay" in one location in the morning and traveling to another site for ABC's "Saturday Night Football." Analyst Kirk Herbstreit does the same, but the double duty is more challenging for a play-by-play announcer because of the extra preparation involved.

Still, Fowler initially said he wanted to continue with both roles, as he did in 2014. Thursday's announcement allows ESPN to keep Davis and give him a broader role, with Fowler still in a prominent position.

"It was important to me that GameDay be left in excellent hands," Fowler said in the release. "It certainly will be with someone as talented and dedicated as Rece Davis."

Davis, who joined the network in 1995, will no longer call Thursday night games.

"This agreement reflects our belief that Rece Davis is one of the very best in the industry," said John Wildhack, ESPN's executive vice president for programming and production.

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