These Sideline Reporters Are Actually at the Center of the Game

Laura Rutledge

Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, Laura Rutledge was 2012's Miss Florida; her competition talent was ballet. Laura is a University of Florida graduate, as you may have already guessed - she majored in broadcast journalism.

Rutledge is known for her contributions to ESPN, where she is featured in multiple shows and is a host for CNN International. She has even started an original show at Fox Sports San Diego, "SDLive," which she produces and hosts!

Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor grew up in Georgia - where she attended Centennial High School, earning recognition for volleyball all through high school and her college careers. She was awarded a member of the Atlanta Tip-Off Team of the Year and was named MVP of her high school volleyball team.

These days, she focuses her energy on college football and has made herself a name for herself at ESPN as a host and analyst. In 2019, Maria began hosting "NBA Countdown."

Meredith Marakovits

Yet another reporter who began her journey in sports playing volleyball, we have Meredith Markovits. Growing up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she earned a volleyball scholarship to play at La Salle University. Markobits is known for her presence online at and for reporting on the Yankees as the YES network host.

Markotvits began her career as a host and reporter for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for the television network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Staying true to her Pennsylvania roots, Meredith worked as a sideline reporter for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Olivia Harlan

After marrying the professional basketball player, Sam Dekker, Olivia Harlan is known these days as Olivia Dekker. Though she is married to a basketball star, she covers all things football. Olivia and her father, Kevin, made history as the first father-daughter team to call an NFL game when the Green Bay Packers played the San Francisco 49ers.

Apart from her work, on-screen Olivia is known for being an active philanthropist. For her wedding, instead of gifts, she asked her guests to donate to the Children's Center Family Foundation, raising over $65 thousand!

Diletta Leotta

As you may have already guessed by her name, Diletta Leotta is not an American broadcaster. The Italian television presenter is actually from Catania, Sicily. Leotta studied law at the Luiss Universit in Rome, graduating in 2015.

She started by hosting "Serie B" games on Sky Sport in Italy, and in 2018 she worked side by side with Aída Yéspica as the host of 105 Take Away. She has been presenting the "Serie A" broadcasts for DAZN since the 2018-2019 season.

Sam Ponder

After graduating from King's College, Samantha Ponder started her career as a sideline reporter for smaller college basketball and football games. She earned her big break when she was asked to host the College Gameday segment on ESPN.

Ponder was named host of Sunday NFL countdown - being the third person to land this position in the 32-year history of ESPN's Sunday morning pregame show. She is presently the host "Sunday NFL Countdown" on ESPN.

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