Top of the Morning, Sept. 5, 2014

Top of the Morning, Sept. 5, 2014

Seven years after the end of a brilliant college career, J Leman (above) stays involved with football. Without getting smacked every play or criticized as a coach.

"I got all my hits out over 17 years of football," Leman said. "I'm happy where I'm at now."

The 29-year-old Champaign Central/Illinois grad is back in town this week to work the Illinois-Western Kentucky game for BTN. Leman serves as analyst.

"I think it's going to be fun," Leman said. "I always loved gamedays in Champaign. I did when I was a kid. I liked it when I played there. There's always a great feeling in Champaign on a Saturday morning when the Illini are playing. I'm looking forward to it."

The BTN has been good for Leman, who started at the network in 2008.

"I'm looking to expand," Leman said. "I think I bring a different perspective and a more youthful approach to football. There's nothing against quarterbacks, there are just a lot of quarterback color analysts. There's not a lot of middle linebacker analysts out there. My big goal is to tell you why stuff is happening."

Leman lives in Wheaton with his wife Katie, son Colt and newborn daughter Taylor.

When he comes back for a game, Leman doesn't stay at his parents' home in Champaign.

"I'm staying at a hotel because it is all business," Leman said. "I approach announcing like I approach a game. There's a lot of prep work and I want to give the audience the best product possible."

TODAY

Stand Up To Cancer, 7 p.m., multiple networks

Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Halle Berry and The Who are scheduled to appear in the telethon.

SATURDAY

Michigan State at Oregon, 5:30 p.m., WCCU (Fox)

Winner should earn an automatic bid to football's first-ever Final Four.

SUNDAY

"Saving Mr. Banks," 9 p.m., Showtime

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney seemed like a curious choice, but the Oscar winner pulled it off in an entertaining tale about the making of "Mary Poppins."

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