Todd Blackledge

Last updated

Todd Blackledge
No. 14
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1961-02-25) February 25, 1961 (age 62)
Canton, Ohio, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Hoover (North Canton, Ohio)
College: Penn State (1979–1982)
NFL Draft: 1983  / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
TDINT:29–38
Passing yards:5,286
Passer rating:60.2
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

Todd Alan Blackledge (born February 25, 1961) is a former American football quarterback in both the NCAA and National Football League (NFL). In college, he led the Penn State Nittany Lions to a national championship. A member of the famed Class of 1983, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Blackledge is a college football television broadcaster, working for ABC Sports from 1994 through 1998, for CBS Sports from 1999 to 2005, ESPN from 2006 through January 2023, and NBC since February 2023.

Contents

High school career

Blackledge's family moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where his father worked as offensive coordinator for the Princeton Tigers football team and Blackledge attended Princeton High School from 1975–76. [1] He returned to the Canton area to finish his high school career at North Canton Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1979.[ citation needed ]

College career

Blackledge was a three-year starter at Penn State, under Coach Joe Paterno, where he guided the Nittany Lions to a 31–5 record including a national championship in 1982.

Following the 1982 season, Blackledge won the Davey O'Brien Award for best quarterback in the nation. As a senior, Blackledge threw for 2,218 yards with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, while also rushing for three touchdowns. [2] [3]

Blackledge led the Nittany Lions to the national championship with a 27–23 victory over Herschel Walker-led Georgia Bulldogs in the 1983 Sugar Bowl. Blackledge was the MVP of the game, throwing for 228 yards and a 4th-quarter 47-yard touchdown to Gregg Garrity. [4]

Professional career

Blackledge was the seventh pick and second quarterback selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft, chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was picked behind John Elway (#1, Baltimore) but ahead of Dan Marino (#27, Miami), 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). [5] He was also drafted ahead of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly (#14 Buffalo), as well as Tony Eason (#15, New England) and Ken O'Brien (#22, New York Jets). [6] He was the last quarterback drafted in the first round by the Chiefs until Patrick Mahomes three decades later.

Blackledge was a Chief for five seasons (1983–1987) before ending his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1988–1989). He served mainly as a back-up to Pro-Bowl QB Bill Kenney in Kansas City. [7] [8]

Blackledge was the backup to Bubby Brister in Pittsburgh his final two seasons, going 2-3 in games started due to Brister's injury. [7]

Overall, Blackledge was 15-14 as a starter in the NFL, throwing for 5,286 yards with 29 touchdowns and 38 interceptions. [7]

Broadcasting career

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. On September 10, 2000, he called the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts game with Greg Gumbel as he filled in for Phil Simms who underwent an emergency appendectomy. In 2006, he began serving on the first team alongside Mike Patrick for ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime on ESPN. As part of his duties he is featured on "Todd's Taste of the Town", a segment where he visits a local restaurant and samples its fare. Blackledge has facetiously stated this is the most difficult part of his broadcasting experience. [ citation needed ]

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

In the early 2020s, Blackledge was paired with Sean McDonough, who returned to calling games at the college level after spending two seasons with Monday Night Football, and Holly Rowe, whom he has teamed with over the previous three years.

For the 2023 season, NBC Sports signed Blackledge as the color analyst on the new Big Ten Saturday Night package, partnering with Noah Eagle.

Coaching career

In April 2014, Blackledge was hired as the head varsity basketball coach at Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio. [9]

Personal life

Blackledge is the son of Ron, a former NFL assistant coach.

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. [10]

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. [10] On June 5, 2009, Blackledge received Penn State's prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award. [11]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Len Dawson</span> American football player (1935–2022)

Leonard Ray Dawson was an American professional football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) for 19 seasons, primarily with the Kansas City Chiefs franchise. After playing college football at Purdue, Dawson began his professional career with the NFL in 1957, spending three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and two with the Cleveland Browns. He left the NFL in 1962 to sign with the AFL's Chiefs, where he spent the last 14 seasons of his career, and rejoined the NFL after the AFL–NFL merger.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kerry Collins</span> American football player (born 1972)

Kerry Michael Collins is an American former football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 17 seasons. Collins was a member of six NFL teams, most notably the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, and Tennessee Titans. He played college football at Pennsylvania State University, where he won the Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien Award, and Sammy Baugh Trophy as a senior.

Walter Andrew "Bubby" Brister III is a former American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, and Minnesota Vikings. He played quarterback for Tulane and Northeast Louisiana and was selected in the third round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Steelers.

Charles Anthony Fusina is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback for seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL) and United States Football League (USFL) during the 1970s and 1980s. He played college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions, and was recognized as an All-American. Fusina played professionally for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers of the NFL, and the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the USFL.

Kenneth John O'Brien Jr. is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles. One of the six quarterbacks in the famed quarterback class of 1983, O'Brien was the first quarterback in the franchise history of the Jets to finish with the highest passer rating in a season. He held the team record for most consecutive pass completions (17) in a game. In 1997, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

John Brodie Croyle is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL) in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football for the University of Alabama from 2002 to 2005.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Robinson (fullback)</span> American football player (born 1983)

Burton Michael Robinson is an American former professional football player who was a fullback in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He is currently an analyst for the NFL Network and NBC.

The 2006 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represented the Pennsylvania State University in the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team's head coach was Joe Paterno. It played its home games at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks</span>

31 quarterbacks have started for the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs since their franchise began. The team has also had numerous backup quarterbacks that have stolen the spotlight from the starters.

Robert Herber Parsons was an American football punter and tight end who played twelve seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played for the Chicago Bears from 1972 to 1983 and later played with the Birmingham Stallions of the United States Football League (USFL).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dan Marino</span> American football player (born 1961)

Daniel Constantine Marino Jr. is an American former football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. After a successful college career at Pittsburgh and being named First-team All-American in 1981, Marino was the last quarterback taken in the first round of the famed quarterback class of 1983. Marino held or currently holds dozens of NFL records associated with the quarterback position, and despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is recognized among the greatest quarterbacks in American football history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bill O'Brien (American football)</span> American football coach (born 1969)

William James O'Brien, nicknamed the Teapot, is an American football coach who is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He was the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2014 to 2020, and at Pennsylvania State University from 2012 to 2013. O'Brien also served as the general manager of the Texans in 2020 and as the offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama from 2021 to 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles London</span> American football player and coach (born 1975)

Charles London is an American football coach and former running back who is the pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL).

The 1983 Sugar Bowl was the 49th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Saturday, January 1. Part of the 1982–83 bowl game season, it matched the undefeated and top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the #2 Penn State Nittany Lions, an independent. Penn State won 27–23 to finish atop the final polls as national champions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pat Devlin (American football)</span> American football player (born 1988)

Patrick Ryan Devlin is a former American football quarterback. Following a stint with Penn State, he played college football at Delaware, and was signed by the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent in 2011.

Ron Blackledge is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Kent State University from 1978 to 1980, compiling a record of 8–25. Blackledge then worked as an assistant coach in the National Football League (NFL), for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1982 to 1991, and was an offensive line coach with the Indianapolis Colts from 1992 to 1997.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matt McGloin</span> American football player (born 1989)

Matthew James McGloin is a former American football quarterback. He was the starting quarterback for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 2010 to 2012. McGloin was the first walk-on quarterback to start at Penn State since scholarships were reinstated in 1949.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chris Godwin</span> American football player (born 1996)

Rod Christopher Godwin Jr. is an American football wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State and was selected by the Buccaneers in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He won a Super Bowl championship in Super Bowl LV over the Kansas City Chiefs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trace McSorley</span> American football player (born 1995)

Richard Thomas "Trace" McSorley III is an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State, and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Micah Parsons</span> American football player (born 1999)

Micah Aaron Parsons is an American football linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). Parsons played college football at Penn State, where he was named a consensus All-American, the Butkus–Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year, and the Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP as a sophomore in 2019, before being selected by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Parsons was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year following the 2021 season.

References

  1. "Penn State title stirs memories of prep quarterback", Battle Creek Enquirer January 4, 1983. Accessed October 2, 2017. "Princeton also is in Mercer County, and that fall Princeton had a new offensive coordinator for its football team by the name of Ron Blackledge. Blackledge's family moved to Princeton with him, including his son, Todd, who enrolled as a sophomore at Princeton High School and tried out for the football team as a quarterback."(subscription required)
  2. "Davey O'Brien Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
  3. "Todd Blackledge College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
  4. firefly-wp. "1983 Game Recap". Official Site of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
  5. "Elway to Marino". 30 for 30. Season 2. April 23, 2013. ESPN.
  6. "1983 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  7. 1 2 3 "Todd Blackledge Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  8. "1984 Kansas City Chiefs Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  9. "North Canton hires Blackledge as varsity boys basketball coach". Canton Rep.com. April 16, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  10. 1 2 "Blackledge to receive prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award". Penn State Department of Sports Information. November 21, 2007. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  11. "Allen and Blackledge Receive Distinguished Alumni Awards". Penn State Department of Sports Information. June 3, 2009.