If you spend any time on Twitter, you no doubt have seen people posting certain Pitt players wearing uniform numbers that correspond with the number of days left until the football season kicks off. Jim did it last year and this year, Pat Narduzzi has been doing it.
I know we have a lot of younger readers here and also some folks that may not have spent their entire lives following Pitt sports. For that reason, I thought it would be cool to not only do the countdown here, but also give a brief writeup on the player to potentially help fans connect a little more with some of the all-time greats.
Quick disclaimer - this isn't necessarily about picking the best player for each number. Not only is that disputable in many instances, but it's not really the point of the exercise. So don't be offended if your favorite player doesn't make the list here. I'll probably mirror Narduzzi's list for the most part but may go off the board in a few instances.
These will also be brief, folks. It's the offseason and we all use this time to wind down a bit. These won't be theses or anything, but we'll cobble together a few facts for each guy.
Finally, feel free to add on to a player's accomplishments in the comments section. Some I'll leave out due to space/time and some I may not even know about. But this will be a good learning exercise for all of us.
Continuing our countdown today is linebacker H.B. Blades.
Pitt was able to snag Blades despite being from Florida and his NFL father (Bennie) and uncle (Brian) both attending Miami. Let's just say that worked out for Pitt.
Blades was a three-time First Team All-Big East linebacker and in his final year (2006) was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-. His 2006 season was superhuman as he recorded 147 tackles, had 10 1/2 tackles for losses, two interceptions, and blocked two field goals. For a career, he recorded an incredible 433 tackles, finishing at the time as the Panthers' third-leading tackler and fifth all-time in that category in the Big East.
Blades wasn't ignored by the NFL as he was taken by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 2007and playing with the team until 2010.