Todd Blackledge, who returned to ESPN in 2006, is an analyst for many of the network’s college football events, including College Football Primetime. Blackledge is an analyst alongside play-by-play commentator Sean McDonough, with sideline reporter Holly Rowe. He also is a regular contributor to College GameDay, SportsCenter and ESPN Radio.
Blackledge began his broadcast career as a sports-talk radio host in Ohio, while also doing analysis for the Indianapolis Colts’ preseason, the Big East Network and for ESPN. He also worked on the Emmy Award-winning Penn State Football Story.
In 1994, he joined ABC Sports as a college football analyst. He then was named CBS’ lead analyst in 1999. In 2006, he joined play-by-play announcer Mike Patrick and sideline reporter Holly Rowe for ESPN’s Saturday primetime college football series. He has been featured during Saturday college football games since 2007 in the popular “Todd’s Taste of the Town,” during which he visits a local restaurant near the site of the game he’ll call that day, and discusses the culinary appeal of the establishment and more.
As the standout quarterback at Penn State, Blackledge started for the Nittany Lions from 1981 to 1983, going 31-5 through three seasons. After leading Penn State to the national championship in 1982, Blackledge won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s most outstanding quarterback, and he finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting. His passer rating was 10th among the nation’s quarterbacks that season.
In the 1983 NFL Draft, Kansas City selected Blackledge seventh overall. He played for the Chiefs for five seasons before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1988. He retired in 1989.
Blackledge was one of seven former NCAA student-athletes selected to receive the 2008 Silver Anniversary Award, which recognizes former student-athletes who completed successful collegiate careers and have gone on to excel in their chosen professions.
That same year, along with seven other former NFL players, Blackledge visited U.S. troops in the Middle East, where he coached in the USO’s flag football tournament, Operation Gridiron: Huddle with the Troops. In 2009, he was awarded Penn State’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a member of Penn State’s Board of Visitors for Penn State’s Center for Sports Journalism.
Blackledge lives in Canton, Ohio. In the offseason he coaches high school basketball.
Blackledge received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication from Penn State in 1983, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. A first-team Academic All-American, he also earned the Eric Walker Award that year from Penn State, given annually to the senior believed to have most “enhanced the esteem and recognition of the University.
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