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Todd Blackledge, who made his return to ESPN in 2006, serves as an analyst for a range of the network’s college football events, including College Football Primetime. Alongside play-by-play commentator Sean McDonough and sideline reporter Holly Rowe, Blackledge delivers expert analysis. He’s also a regular contributor to College GameDay, SportsCenter, and ESPN Radio.
Blackledge’s broadcasting journey began with a role as a sports-talk radio host in Ohio. Concurrently, he provided analysis for the Indianapolis Colts’ preseason games, contributed to the Big East Network, and became part of ESPN’s lineup. He also played a role in the Emmy Award-winning production, the “Penn State Football Story.”
In 1994, he joined ABC Sports as a college football analyst and later became CBS’s lead analyst in 1999. In 2006, he teamed up with play-by-play announcer Mike Patrick and sideline reporter Holly Rowe for ESPN’s Saturday primetime college football series. Since 2007, he’s been known for “Todd’s Taste of the Town” during Saturday college football games, where he explores local restaurants near the game site, discussing their culinary highlights and more.
Before his broadcasting career, Todd Blackledge was a standout quarterback at Penn State, leading the Nittany Lions from 1981 to 1983 with a remarkable 31-5 record over three seasons. His leadership culminated in a national championship for Penn State in 1982. Blackledge received the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s most outstanding quarterback and achieved a sixth-place finish in Heisman Trophy voting that year. His passer rating ranked 10th among the nation’s quarterbacks.
In the 1983 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Blackledge as the seventh overall pick. He spent five seasons with the Chiefs before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1988, retiring in 1989.
Beyond his accomplishments in sports and broadcasting, Blackledge was honored with the 2008 Silver Anniversary Award, recognizing former student-athletes who excelled in their collegiate careers and professions. In the same year, he joined seven other former NFL players in visiting U.S. troops in the Middle East, where they coached in the USO’s flag football tournament, Operation Gridiron: Huddle with the Troops.
In 2009, Penn State acknowledged his contributions with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Todd Blackledge also serves on Penn State’s Board of Visitors for the Center for Sports Journalism.
He currently resides in Canton, Ohio, and during the offseason, he dedicates his time to coaching high school basketball.
Todd Blackledge holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication from Penn State, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He was not only a first-team Academic All-American but also received the Eric Walker Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the university’s esteem and recognition.