Hall of Fame Hurricanes: Bennie Blades
"Hall of Fame Canes" will highlight Hurricanes enshrined in the #HOF in preparation for Jimmy Johnson's College Football Hall of Fame induction, along with the rest of the Class of 2012, on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Meet today's Hall of Fame Hurricane...
College Football HOF, 2006
Bennie Blades became the fifth Miami Hurricane inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2006.
"I am ecstatic," Blades said upon his induction "I couldn't keep from smiling when I heard the news. When the representative from the College Football Hall of Fame called me, I kept asking him, 'Are you sure? Are you sure?' There have been a lot of great Hurricanes players before me, during my era, and after me, and for me to be blessed with this honor and to be only the fifth person from UM and only the third player, I'm floored. Words can't describe what it means to me."
Blades played for the Hurricanes from 1985 to 1987. He was named first-team All-America in both 1986 and 1987 by both Associated Press and United Press International, adding honors as a senior in 1987 from Kodak, The Sporting News, the Walter Camp Foundation and the Football Writers Association of America.
He received the Jim Thorpe Award as college football's best defensive back in 1987. That year, he led UM to the national championship and a 12-0 record. He made 124 tackles, intercepted five passes and was named a consensus All-American. He ended his UM career as the school's all-time leader with 19 interceptions and 305 interception return yards (both since broken).
Blades shared the Thorpe Award with Oklahoma's Rickey Dixon. Both finished with 144 points in balloting by a 15-member committee. Florida State's Deion Sanders was third in the voting with 125 points.
He also set school records for most consecutive games with an interception (five), total tackles by a safety (286), and unassisted tackles by a safety (155). Blades led the nation in interceptions in 1986 (0.91 per game).
He was a first-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions (the third pick overall) in the 1988 NFL draft. He played for the Lions for nine seasons, appearing in 136 games. He finished his career in 1997 with the Seattle Seahawks.
Blades joined a class of 15 inductees, a group that included Emmitt Smith, Bruce Smith, Mike Rozier, Charlie Ward and coach Bobby Bowden.