As a standout football player at Alter High School in Kettering and a walk-on at Ohio State University, Christopher Roark only dreamed of playing in the Super Bowl.
While he’s not playing in Super Bowl LIII Sunday night in Atlanta, Roark, 30, a 2007 Alter graduate, does make a brief appearance in a Toyota commercial. The commercial tells the story of Antoinette “Toni” Harris, the first female football player who does not play a specialist position like kicker to be offered a college scholarship.
The ad, directed by Joe Pytka, who has directed more than 80 Super Bowl commercials, is narrated by Jim Nantz, who will call the Super Bowl for CBS on WHIO-TV Ch. 7.
The 60-second ad shows draws a comparison between Harris and Toyota’s new RAV4.
The commercial shows Harris loading football gear into the back of a Toyota RAV4 and then doing some intense training, while Nantz talks about how she defied the odds.
Harris, 22, is a sophomore defensive back at East Los Angeles College. She has been offered scholarships to continue her playing career at several colleges, including Bethany College, an NAIA school in Kansas, according to media reports.
Toward the end of the commercial, Harris tackles Roark.
Christopher Roark’s father, Chris, who coached football at Alter, Fenwick, Jefferson and Fairborn, said when they were shooting the Toyota commercial and they needed an actor with football experience. Jeff Sanders, a Hollywood stunt coordinator, said: “I know exactly who we need for this.”
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Roark, living in Los Angeles with his wife, Maggie, certainly has football experience that has helped his acting career. He’s appearing in the “Ice the Kicker” Pepsi commercial when the kicker clanks a field goal off the uprights. In that commercial, Roark is holding the ball for the kicker.
He also has appeared in a State Farm Insurance commercial with Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, and linebacker Clay Matthews. In that “Pep Talk” commercial, Roark can be seen standing in the back of the locker room.
He also has appeared on The Fosters, Modern Family and The Goldbergs.