As Ball State opens its 97th season of football Thursday against Western Illinois, the return to football also signals the return of one of Sports Link’s signature shows, Sports Link GameDay LIVE.
Thursday’s debut, which features head coach Mike Neu and players, airs live from Scheumann Stadium at 6 p.m.
Sports Link GameDay, presented by Sight & Sound, will stream live anywhere, on any platform and any device through Sports Link’s social media platforms. Fan and audience interaction with the show through Twitter and Facebook Live is encouraged.
The 2021 edition of Sports Link GameDay is produced by Dennis Collier, Jr. and Charlie Hammock.
The newly formatted show features host Hudson French, with Ryan Klimcak, Baylen Hite and Peyton Monnell. That trio will also anchor Sports Link Digital’s radio coverage of football this season.
Ball State alum and four-time NFL Pro Bowler, Blaine Bishop, will join this week’s show. Bishop played 10 seasons in the NFL for the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles. He was named one of the NFL’s Top 100 Players by The Sporting News in 1998.
Veteran sports announcer Greg Rakestraw will also join Thursday’s show. Rakestraw, the TV voice of the Indy Eleven and IHSAA Champions Network, has been part of the Indianapolis and statewide sports media scene for over 23 years. He also is the postgame host for the Colts Radio Network.
Ball State is coming off the most memorable season in program history, finishing 2020 with a 7-1 (5-1 MAC) record. BSU won its last seven games to claim the MAC West Division title, a MAC Championship Game victory, and a win over No. 19 San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl.
Led by sixth-year head coach Mike Neu, the Cardinals return 20 starters (10 offensive, 10 defensive) and three key specialists from the team which finished the year ranked at No. 23 in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll. Among Ball State’s returning players are 16 “super seniors” who will take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted to student-athletes by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, BSU welcomes back 10 of 12 All-MAC honorees from a year ago, highlighted by First-Team All-MAC selection and Co-Defensive Player of the Year Brandon Martin (ILB). Also looking to help Ball Sate run it back are first team members Justin Hall (WR), Anthony Ekpe (OLB), and Bryce Cosby (S), second team selections Drew Plitt (QB), Curtis Blackwell (OL), Christian Albright (OLB), and Nathan Snyder (P), and third team honorees Yo’Heinz Tyler (WR), Jaylin Thomas (ILB).