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Former Pitt All-American Serving as Honorary Captain Against Wake Forest



Pitt mascot before the football team faces Virginia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now.)

Pitt may be on the road Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C., but a familiar face will help lead the Panthers into a matchup against Wake Forest — one that Pat Narduzzi wishes he could’ve coached himself.

H.B. Blades — who served as one of the best linebackers in college football in the mid-2000s — will serve as the Pitt honorary captain against the Demon Deacons.

“Would have loved to coach this guy,” Pat Narduzzi wrote on Twitter. “Excited to welcome H.B. Blades as our honorary captain for today’s game at Wake!”

Blades spent four seasons at Pitt, and he grew into perhaps the best linebacker in college football by the time he was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Blades earned three consecutive first-team All-Big East honors from 2004-06, but it was his 2006 season that saw him earn first-team All-American honors — leading the Big East with 147 tackles (86 solo), 10.5 tackles for loss, a sack and two interceptions.

He finished his career at Pitt with 433 tackles (which is the third-most in program history), and he added 14 tackles for loss, two sacks, six interceptions and a defensive touchdown.

After being selected by the Redskins in 2007, Blades played four seasons in the NFL and recorded 140 tackles (99 solo), a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.

Blades joins the likes of Darrelle Revis, Larry Fitzgerald, Lamar Slade, Pat Bostick and Darrin Hall to serve as Pitt honorary captains so far this season.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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