Todd Blackledge, the quarterback who led the Nittany Lions to the 1982 National Championship, was one of seven former student-athletes honored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association with the 2008 Silver Anniversary Award on Jan. 13 in Nashville, Tenn.
The Silver Anniversary Award recognizes former student-athletes who excelled in collegiate sports and in their chosen professions. As a three-year starter at Penn State, Blackledge led the Nittany Lions to a 29-4 record, including 13 comeback victories, and Penn State’s first national championship by defeating previously unbeaten Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl. He still holds several Penn State records, including touchdown passes in a season (22) and career (42). His 358 yards passing in a single game, versus Miami in 1981, still ranks as fourth best in Penn State football history.
Blackledge also excelled in the classroom at Penn State, graduating Phi Beta Kappa (with a 3.80 grade point average) in 1983. The Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the first round of the National Football League draft, and he played for the Chiefs for five seasons followed by a stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since retiring from football, Blackledge has built a successful career in broadcasting as a studio and game analyst working for major networks CBS, ABC, and ESPN. Blackledge rejoined ESPN in 2006 as lead analyst for ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime after serving as lead analyst for CBS Sports’ coverage of college football for seven seasons.
Blackledge remains committed to Penn State, serving on the Advisory Board for The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State. He and his family live in Ohio.