Horatio Benedict "Bennie" Blades Sr. (born September 3, 1966) is a former American football cornerback and safety in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Miami.
Blades played a big part in the University of Miami's winning the 1987 NCAA National Championship. He also won the Jim Thorpe Award in that year and, in 2006, was named to the College Football Hall of Fame for his play at the University of Miami. He shares the NCAA single season interception record with fellow Miami Hurricane Sean Taylor.
During his play at Miami he and the defensive secondary were nicknamed "Bennie and the Jets," (in reference of the Elton John song of the same name) for their speed, power, ability & stand-out defensive play. He is also remembered for taunting and intimidating opposing players.
Blades was interviewed about his time at the University of Miami for the documentary The U, which premiered December 12, 2009 on ESPN.
Following his graduation from the University of Miami, Blades entered the 1988 NFL Draft and spent ten seasons in the NFL. He played for the Detroit Lions from 1988–1996 and the 1997 season with the Seattle Seahawks, teaming up with his older brother, wide receiver Brian Blades, who also played collegiate football at the University of Miami.
During his time with the Lions, Blades was considered one of the most physical defensive backs in the NFL, even playing as a linebacker in certain passing situations toward the end of his career. Blades is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive backs in Lions' history.
The Lions selected Blades with the third overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft, and he went on to earn NFL All-Rookie honors for the 1988 season. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1991 - in addition to receiving First-Team All-NFL and First-team All-NFC honors. He was the Lions’ Defensive MVP in 1992 and led the team with 132 tackles in 1996, which was one of three 100-tackle seasons he had in Detroit.
An underrated professional player, Blades was a key component to the Lions’ defense that helped the team claim two NFC Central titles, and a berth in the 1991 NFC Championship game. He was a defensive captain for five years in Detroit and his 815 career tackles place him second on the Lions’ all-time list.
Blades' son is former Washington Redskins linebacker H. B. Blades. His daughter, Bianca Blades, is a philanthropist/model in Los Angeles. Blades and his brother Brian Blades attended Piper High School and played in the football program there. He also worked at academy high school with his brother. He is also the older brother of former University of Miami defensive back, the late Al Blades
Blades was honored September 25, 2015 at a GridIron Greats inductee.