Former Washington State University and National Football League quarterback Drew Bledsoe will be inducted into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame between the first and second quarters of Friday’s Apple Cup at Martin Stadium in Pullman. WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos will induct Bedsoe, who ranks among the greatest players in school history.
Bledsoe graduated from Walla Walla High School, where he was an All-State quarterback, and starred at Washington State from 1990-92. Bledsoe finished his three-year career with 7,373 passing yards, 532 completions and 46 touchdown passes, marks that each ranked second on WSU’s all-time list when he left.
Bledsoe was the Pac-10’s Offensive Player of the Year during his junior season and finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting. Following the 1992 regular season, Bledsoe led the Cougars to a victory over Utah in the Copper Bowl, throwing for a career-high 476 yards and two touchdowns.
In 1993, the New England Patriots made Bledsoe the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. He remains the highest-drafted Cougar in Washington State history.
Bledsoe had a 14-year NFL career, during which he twice made first-team All-Pro and four times earned selection to the Pro Bowl. He retired after the 2006 season, after having played for the Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys, with 46,611 passing yards and 251 touchdown passes.
Bledsoe led the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1996 and earned a Super Bowl ring in 2001 as a backup to Tom Brady, who took over the starting job when Bledsoe was injured.
Bledsoe, who resides in Bend, OR., with wife Maura and four children, is one of six 2012 inductees into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame. He joins former Washington and NFL quarterback Warren Moon, retired Mercer Island basketball coach Ed Pepple, retired Seattle Pacific University soccer coach Cliff McCrath, thoroughbred jockey Russell Baze and the late Seattle Rainiers owner Emil Sick.
The hall was started by the late sportscaster Clay Huntington of Tacoma in 1960 and includes 178 members.