Todd Blackledge spent three years as a starting quarterback for Penn State from 1980 through the Nittany Lions' national championship season in 1982. That was followed by a seven-year career in the NFL. Now he's coming up on 28 years in the broadcast business.
"It's pretty crazy, isn't it?" he said.
Blackledge will be on for a few more years at least: ESPN announced Tuesday that he has been signed to a new multi-year deal to continue as an analyst on college football telecasts.
Blackledge said the fact that he's been around football his entire life — his father was a football coach — benefited him both as a player and as a broadcaster.
"I've always had an understanding of the game, an appreciation of the game," he said. "I love college football and I'm as much of a fan as I am somebody that works in the business of college football. So it's been a dream kind of job."
Blackledge, who did his first college football games on the old Big East television network in 1991, has had a key role in telecasts for ESPN and ABC since returning to the networks in 2006. Since then, he has called 10 national championship games on ESPN Radio, and has been in the booth for a College Football Playoff semifinal on ESPN every year since the first one in 2014.
"I've been very happy with the way they've treated me," he said. "They're the major player in college football. Other networks do games but we clearly have the best package in college football. We have the playoff. We have the national championship game.
"So to be involved with them, and particularly to be able to call one of the playoff games each year, has been a thrill. I've had a chance to work with some of the best guys in the business."