As Verne leaves, Nessler steps into the booth at CBS

As Verne leaves, Nessler steps into the booth at CBS
Brad Nessler is the new SEC play-by-play commentator for CBS, but he's not new to SEC football. (Alabama NewsCenter)

Verne Lundquist has moved on to calling basketball and golf, and Brad Nessler will be the new play-by-play voice of SEC football this fall on CBS.

Gary Danielson will stick around as Nessler’s sidekick in the booth, and Allie LeForce will still report from the sidelines.

“Verne and I have been great friends for a long, long time,” Nessler said.

He said they covered the 1992 Olympics together in Albertville, France.

“I was with the speed skating team and Verne was with (German figure skater) Katerina Witt.”

Nessler, 61, is a graduate of Minnesota State University, where he majored in broadcasting. He has plenty of connections in the booth, having called games for CBS, NBC, ABC and the NFL Network.

He has worked not only with Lundquist but also with Danielson, Keith Jackson, Bob Griese, Brent Musburger, Ray Scott, Pat Summerall, Curt Gowdy and Lindsey Nelson.

Brad Nessler talks about his new gig at SEC Media Days 2017 from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Nessler has a style that should suit SEC football fans. He is fast with his calls, so be ready for the next play in about a second.

“I’m not a big screamer,” he said. “I grew up listening to Ray Scott, who called Green Bay Packers games. He would just say ‘Starr. Dowler. Touchdown.’

For the younger fans, that would be Bart, Boyd, Touchdown.

“I think when there is a big play, I can come up to the moment,” Nessler said in an interview with Alabama NewsCenter.

“I’m not naming names, but so many guys make a four-yard run sound like a big moment.”

Nessler lives in Atlanta with his wife, Reis. The location allows him to fly roundtrip to the games he covers.

Tony Barnhart, who also lives in Atlanta, has known Nessler for a long time.

“Here’s a guy who has gone from growing up in Minnesota to calling Falcons games to everything else he’s doing,” Barnhart said. “And I can just tell you, he is thrilled to be doing the SEC.

“Brad Nessler understands SEC football. It’s ingrained in his culture.”

There was a time when Nessler wouldn’t turn down an assignment, even if it paid only $50.

In fact, for three years he covered the Dec. 25 Blue-Gray football game in Montgomery, which didn’t pay very much.

“There’s nothing like doing a Christmas Day game when you’ve got a 3-year-old daughter at home,” Nessler said in jest.

Now, with a salary of a lot more than $50 a game, he won’t have to worry about that.

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