Blackledge to receive Distinguished Alumnus Award Friday

University Park, Pa. — Former Penn State standout quarterback Todd Blackledge will be among eight recipients of the University's prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award on Friday (June 5).

The Penn State Board of Trustees announced earlier this year that Blackledge would be among the recipients of the University's highest individual honor. The Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony will be held Friday afternoon in the Nittany Lion Inn as part of Penn State's Traditional Reunion Weekend.

A college football analyst with ESPN/ABC, Blackledge, who led the Nittany Lions to the 1982 National Championship, was among seven recipients of the 2008 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.

Blackledge re-joined ESPN in 2006 after serving as the lead analyst for CBS Sports' coverage of college football for seven seasons. The seven-year NFL veteran recently completed his third season as the lead analyst for ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime, working with play-by-play commentator Mike Patrick and reporter Holly Rowe. Blackledge also contributes to College GameDay, College Football Live, SportsCenter and ESPN Radio.

Blackledge, who joined CBS in 1999, had previously worked as a studio and game analyst for ABC Sports (1994-98) and as a game analyst for ESPN (1997-98) on Thursday night telecasts. In addition, he called pre-season games for several NFL teams, including the Colts, Eagles and Browns.

A native of North Canton, Ohio, Blackledge began his career in television by working on the Emmy Award-winning, "Penn State Football Story," produced by Mind Over Media, a Pittsburgh-based production company.

Blackledge led Penn State to an 11-1 record and its first National Championship with a 27-23 victory over previously unbeaten Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl. The Hoover High School product earned the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback in 1982, was sixth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy and concluded his collegiate career with 26 school records.

A three-year starter, Blackledge directed the Nittany Lions to a 29-4 record, including 13 comeback victories, from 1980-82, including two Fiesta Bowl wins and one Sugar Bowl victory. He still holds several Penn State records, including touchdown passes in a season (22) and career (42). His game passing yardage record (358 vs. Miami, 1981) stood for 16 years and still ranks as the fourth-best in school annals.

A first round draft choice of the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs in 1983, Blackledge played in Kansas City for five seasons and with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1988-89 before embarking on his broadcasting career.

Blackledge earned a B.A. in Speech Communication in 1983, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a 3.80 grade point average. A first team Academic All-American, he also was presented the Eric Walker Award, given to the Penn State senior who has most "enhanced the esteem and recognition of the University." In 1997, Blackledge was inducted into the prestigious Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

Blackledge serves on the Board of Visitors for Penn State's Center for Sports Journalism.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010