Joel Klatt
Klatt (left) with Colorado Head Coach Gary Barnett in 2005
No. 14
Date of birth: (1982-02-04) February 4, 1982 (age 38)
Place of birth: Arvada, Colorado
Career history
High school: Pomona High School (Arvada)
Colorado (2002–2005)
Bowl games
2002 Alamo Bowl
2005 Champs Sports Bowl
Career highlights and awards

Joel Klatt (born February 4, 1982) is a college football color commentator and analyst for Fox Sports.[1] Klatt played college football for the University of Colorado (CU) Buffaloes. He was the first three-year starter at QB for Colorado since Kordell Stewart ('92–'94). He also played minor-league baseball for two seasons.

High school career[edit | edit source]

Klatt was born in Arvada, Colorado. He was coached by his father, Gary Klatt, the head coach at Pomona High School in Arvada, Colorado.[2] As a junior, he had 4 interceptions playing in the secondary, helping the team to a 9–3 record, and winning the Jefferson County league championship. As a senior at QB, he led the team to a 6–5 record and earned second-team all-state honors with a 78–125 passes (62.4%) for 1,250 yards and 16 touchdowns. He played primarily at shortstop in baseball, earning first-team all-state in his senior year and helped his team finish runner-up in the state tournament. He earned the following records at his school in baseball: HRs (40), RBIs (66), H (51), and SLG (1.226). He also set three summer school records: HRs (26), RBIs (99) and SLG (1.147). He also played basketball at guard. Klatt lettered in football, basketball, and baseball all four years of high school.

Professional baseball[edit | edit source]

Klatt was drafted in the 11th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the San Diego Padres as a 3rd baseman. He played for the Arizona League Padres in Peoria, Arizona that summer where he led the team with 12 doubles and batted .209 with 1 HR and 15 RBIs. In 2001, he was with Idaho Falls (2 HRs, 10 RBIs, 3 SB). In 2002, he told himself if he did not move up to high-A ball, he would give college football a try. After he reported for spring training with Eugene, he realized he would never make it to the Big Leagues. He then left the team and walked-on at the University of Colorado.[3]

College career[edit | edit source]

Klatt walked-on to Colorado as a QB in 2002. As a true freshman, he played in 3 games, mostly on the punt return team as a rusher/blocker against Missouri and Iowa State. Against Baylor, he went 0–3 passing. He is one of 4 true freshman walk-ons to see action since 1986 for Colorado and was the Scout Team Offense Award Winner for the Colorado State game. The Buffs were Big 12 North Champions that season and played in the Alamo Bowl.

The following year, Klatt earned the starting position at QB and went on to set 19 school records and tied one. He earned all-Big 12 honors and Colorado's John Mack Award (CU's Offensive Player of the Year). He was 233–358 for 2,614 yards and 21 touchdowns. In Klatt's first game as starting QB, he was National Player of the Week by The Sporting News,,, and Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week in Colorado's first game of the season. He went 21–34 for 402 yards and 4 touchdowns winning the game with a 6-play, 75-yard drive with 40 seconds left in the game. He suffered a sprained shoulder injury during the Washington State game causing him to miss two starts against Florida State and Baylor. He returned from the injury with a record setting game against Kansas going 38–54 with 419 yards. His two 400-yard throwing games ranked 4th and 5th most passing yards in a game by a walk-on (or former walk-on) in NCAA Division I history prior to the 2005–06 season.

For the 2004 season, he started 12 games and played in all 13, being benched in the Iowa State game for lackluster performance. He was 192–334 for 2,065 yards and 9 touchdowns but had 15 interceptions. He was placed on scholarship status for this season, having played the previous two in walk-on status. He continued to set records at Colorado and led the team to the Big 12 Conference North title, losing the championship game to Oklahoma. He then went on to lead his team to victory in the Houston Bowl against UTEP. He set 8 school records and recorded his first and only reception going for 18 yards on a throwback with Bernard Jackson against Texas A&M. He was on the official watch list for the Davey O'Brien Award (one of 42 candidates), and Street & Smith’s selected him as an honorable mention preseason All-American.

He again led the Buffs to the Big 12 North Title during the 2005 season. However, Klatt's college career was ended in the Big 12 Championship Game against Texas when he was knocked out after being hit by Texas linebacker Drew Kelson during the 70–3 blowout.[4] He suffered a severe concussion that left him hospitalized for weeks after the game. During the season, though, he set several Colorado quarterback records.

Klatt became embittered by the nonchalance of the NCAA over the effects of his career-ending hit[5]. His comments included him saying the NCAA is "terribly run," that "exploits athletes," and that "has its priorities out of whack."[6] Further:

"If they want to exploit us, as athletes, and sell our jerseys and put us on video games, then perhaps they should protect us on the field better, so that we can, in the future, get that compensation and possibly go to the NFL. It seems like they’re more concerned with what guys do after the play and after they score, which is completely irrelevant to safety, or anything like that. But if a player who goes into the end zone and gets a little too excited, is that as important as someone who gets a head injury? I just think their priorities are a little out of whack."[7]

Career football statistics[edit | edit source]

Note: Bolded statistics denote career high

Colorado Buffaloes
Season G Passing Rushing
Comp Att Comp% Yards Y/A TD Int Rating Att Yards Avg TD
2002 3 0 3 0.0% 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0
2003 11 233 358 65.1% 2,614 7.3 21 10 140.2 68 −91 −1.3 1
2004 13 216 367 58.9% 2,398 6.5 11 15 115.5 46 −58 −1.3 2
2005 12 241 400 60.3% 2,696 6.7 14 8 124.4 54 3 0.1 0
Total 39 690 1,128 61.2% 7,708 6.8 46 33 126.2 168 −146 −0.9 3
Stats sourced by Sports Reference.[8]

Professional football career[edit | edit source]

Klatt was not drafted in the 2006 NFL Draft but he did attend the Detroit Lions' and New Orleans Saints' rookie mini-camps after the draft. New Orleans signed him to a free-agent contract after their mini-camp, but then released him 11 days later on June 2, 2006. The Lions claimed him off waivers less than a week later, but Klatt was released on August 7, 2006 before the start of the regular season.

Personal[edit | edit source]

Klatt grew up in Arvada, Colorado. He married Sara Ordway in May 2005 and they have 3 sons. His hobbies include golf and learning the guitar. He supports the Boston Red Sox.

College honors[edit | edit source]

  • National Player of the Week: August 20, 2003 (vs. Colorado State)
  • John Mack Award (2003) (Colorado Award: Outstanding Offensive Player)
  • Best Interview (2003) (Selected by Colorado Media)
  • Eddie Crowder Award (2002) (Colorado Award: Leadership)

Radio interviews[edit | edit source]

Broadcasting career[edit | edit source]

Klatt's first opportunity in broadcasting came when he filled in as an analyst on Friday night high school football games in the Denver area in the fall of 2006 for FSN Rocky Mountain.[9] He became a studio host for Fox Sports Southwest's Saturday college football coverage from 2007–08. His role expanded as he became a color analyst for Fox Sports Net in 2009. He also served as a host for the Colorado Rockies' pre and post–game shows on Root Sports Rocky Mountain. He hosted a series of sports radio shows in the Denver area from 2007–12, including a popular program on the FM station 104.3 The Fan from 2011–12.

He joined Fox Sports 1 (FS1) for its launch in August 2013.[10] Klatt spent his first two seasons with FS1 and FOX broadcast network as a full-time studio analyst for the network's college football coverage, host of Fox NFL Kickoff, a part-time game analyst, primarily working Thursday night contests on FS1 and called the 2014 Pac-12 Football Championship Game on FOX. Prior to the 2015 season, Klatt was elevated to FOX Sports' lead college football game analyst, where he teams with play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson. Klatt served as a digital host during the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Open Championships and the on air interviewer during the 2019 U.S. Open Championship.[11] Klatt also fills-in for Kevin Burkhardt hosting MLB Whiparound.

Klatt is a guest commentator weekly on the JOX Roundtable (WJOX-FM), a sports talk radio show based in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also a weekly guest commentator on the BaD Radio show, aired on KTCK's The Ticket 1310-AM and 96.7-FM stations, and based in Dallas. The show opens with the official Joel Klatt Theme Song, performed by TC Fleming of KTCK.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Saunders, Dusty (2013-05-13). "Dusty Saunders: Joel Klatt to leave Root Sports for new Fox Sports 1". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  2. "Colorado Preps Sports News: The Denver Post Online".
  3. Markels, Alex (2003-10-16). "Passing at Colorado After Failing Baseball" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  4. Evans, Thayer (2005-12-04). "Longhorns Drive Point Home" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  5. Photo of vicious hit
  6. ESPN – Klatt's talk is cheap: No fines – College Football
  8. "Joel Klatt College Stats". College Football at Sports Reference. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  9. "The Natural: Joel Klatt" (in en-US). 2016-07-06.
  10. Saunders, Dusty; Post (2013-05-12). "Dusty Saunders: Joel Klatt to leave Root Sports for new Fox Sports 1" (in en-US).
  11. Greenstein, Teddy. "Fox Sports' Joel Klatt on crying in the booth, his Tiger Woods tweet, his thoughts on Big Ten QBs and his new role at the U.S. Open" (in en-US).

External links[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.