Bennie Blades Inducted into U. of Miami Ring of Honor
October 20, 2009
By Bill Boehlke
Congratulations to former Seahawk Bennie Blades, who is being inducted into the University of Miami Ring of Honor. The ceremony will take place during halftime of Miami’s home game against Clemson on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Land Shark Stadium.
Bennie played strong safety for the Seahawks in 1997 to wrap up a 10-year NFL career; his previous nine years were with the Detroit Lions.
He played defensive back for the Hurricanes from 1985 through 1987. As a junior, he was selected first-team All-American in 1986 by the Associated Press and United Press International after leading the nation in interceptions with 10. The following season, Bennie not only helped the Hurricanes win the national championship, but he also was selected first-team All-American by the Associated Press, Kodak, United Press International, The Sporting News, The Walter Camp Foundation and the Football Writers Association of America. The same year, he also won the Jim Thorpe Award, which recognizes the nation’s premier defensive back.
While at UM, he set school records for interceptions in a career (19), interception return yards (305), consecutive games with an interception (5), total tackles by a safety (286) and unassisted tackles by a safety (155).
After being picked third overall by the Detroit Lions in 1988, Bennie played 10 NFL seasons and finished his professional career with 14 interceptions and one touchdown. In 2006, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Bennie’s foundation – The Bennie Blades 36 Foundation – seeks to inspire and challenge young people. Says Bennie, “I’ve pledged to make sure that our children, especially those with special needs from the disadvantaged areas, get the knowledge and skills to become productive citizens.”