Todd Blackledge

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Todd Blackledge
No. 14
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1961-02-25) February 25, 1961 (age 53)
Place of birth: Canton, Ohio
Career information
High school: North Canton (OH) Hoover
College: Penn State
NFL Draft: 1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Debuted in 1983 for the Kansas City Chiefs
Last played in 1989 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
TDINT 29–38
Yards 5,286
QB Rating 60.2
Stats at NFL.com

Todd Alan Blackledge (born February 25, 1961) is a former American football quarterback in both the NCAA and National Football League. In college, he led the Penn State Nittany Lions to a national championship; and, as a pro, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs (1983–1987) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (1988–1989). Blackledge is currently a television broadcasting football analyst.

High school career[edit]

Blackledge attended Princeton High School in Princeton, New Jersey, from 1975–76, until he returned to the Canton area to finish his high school career at North Canton Hoover High School in North Canton, OH, from which he graduated in 1979.

College career[edit]

Blackledge was a three-year starter at Penn State, where he guided the Nittany Lions to 31–5 record including a national championship in 1982. Following the 1982 season, he won the Davey O'Brien Award for best quarterback in the nation.

Professional career[edit]

Blackledge was the seventh pick in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft, chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was picked behind John Elway but ahead of Dan Marino, astounding both Marino (who believed that he was better than Blackledge) and Blackledge himself (who had expected to be picked in the middle of the round).[1] He was also drafted ahead of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. He was a Chief for five seasons (1983–1987) before ending his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1988–1989). Blackledge holds the distinction of being the last quarterback that was drafted by Kansas City that has won a game with the franchise. [1]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Blackledge went on to host radio sports talk shows in Cleveland (WKNR) and Canton, Ohio (WHBC). He also did analyst work for the Big East Network, Indianapolis Colts preseason games, and ESPN.

From 1994–1998, he worked as a college football analyst for ABC Sports. In 1999, Blackledge joined CBS Sports as the lead analyst for the network's college football coverage. In 2006, he began serving on the first team alongside Mike Patrick for ESPN College Football Primetime on ESPN. As part of his duties he is featured on "Todd's Taste of the Town", a segment where he visits a locally notable restaurant and samples its fare. Blackledge has facetiously stated this is the most difficult part of his broadcasting experience. In May 2013 Blackledge announced on his official website, www.tasteofthetowntodd.com that he had written a book titled "Taste of the Town: A Guided Tour of College Football’s Best Places to Eat" scheduled for release on September 3, 2013 describing the various restaurants and their stories.

Blackedge was teamed with Brad Nessler and sideline reporter Erin Andrews for the 2009 season, while Patrick is teamed with Craig James and sideline reporter Heather Cox.

Personal[edit]

Todd is the son of former NFL assistant coach Ron Blackledge.

Blackledge lives in North Canton with his wife, Cherie, and their four children.[2]

Blackledge earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication from Penn State in 1983, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a 3.8 grade point average. Named a first team Academic All-American, he was also awarded the Eric Walker Award, given to the Penn State senior student who has most “enhanced the esteem and recognition of the University.” Blackledge was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1997. He sits on the Board of Visitors for Penn State’s Center for Sports Journalism.[3]

Blackledge was selected to receive the prestigious 2008 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, recognizing former student-athletes who excelled both in their collegiate and professional careers.[3] On June 5, 2009, Blackledge received Penn State's prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award.[4]

In April 2008, Blackledge and seven other former NFL players traveled to the Middle East to visit with troops and coach them in the USO's Operation Gridiron: Huddle with the Troops, a flag football tournament for service personnel serving overseas.[5]

Currently, he is coaching freshman basketball at North Canton Hoover High School and the North Canton Little League 10-year-old Williamsport team.

Blackledge is also Christian, as his tweets on ESPN.com usually quote a verse from the Bible daily. He sometimes concludes these tweets by writing, "Make today a great day!"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elway to Marino". 30 for 30. Season 2. 2013-04-23. ESPN.
  2. ^ Mary Ann (Ryza) Blackledge, Blackledges in America (2002), page 540. ISBN 0-9722704-0-X (provides biography plus lineage [ancestors and descendants] for Todd Blackledge)
  3. ^ a b "Blackledge to receive prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award". Penn State Department of Sports Information. 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  4. ^ "Allen and Blackledge Receive Distinguished Alumni Awards". Penn State Department of Sports Information. 2009-06-03. 
  5. ^ "Former Penn State football players on USO tour to Middle East". The Pennsylvania State University Department of Public Information. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-03-31.