February 25, 1961 |
|High school:||North Canton (OH) Hoover|
|NFL Draft:||1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
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 high school basketball coach.
His family moved to Princeton, New Jersey while his father worked as offensive coordinator for the Princeton Tigers football team and Blackledge attended Princeton High School in Princeton, New Jersey, from 1975–76. 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.
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.
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). 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)
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 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 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.
In April 2014, Blackledge was hired as the head varsity basketball coach at Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio.
Todd is the son of former NFL assistant coach Ron Blackledge.
Blackledge lives in North Canton with his wife, Cherie, and their four children.
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.
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. On June 5, 2009, Blackledge received Penn State's prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award.
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.
Currently, he is coaching varsity 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!"
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