LSU Football Legend Billy Cannon Passes Away
The only Heisman Trohpy Winner in LSU history, Billy Cannon, has passed away at the age of 80.
Billy Cannon won 53% of the possible vote for the Heisman trophy in 1959, as the halfback solidified his place in LSU Tiger Football history. The award may have been handed to him after the season, but he effectively won the award on Halloween night. That was the night he led his undefeated LSU Tigers into battle against the undefeated Ole Miss Rebels.
The game ended 7-3, with the lone touchdown being scored by Cannon, on a punt return that gets more magical every time you watch the grainy footage. Cannon broke countess tackles, out ran Rebels, and gutted his way across the goal line.
But perhaps the most impressive part of Cannon's night was the 4th-and-goal stop he made on DEFENSE to keep Ole Miss out of the end zone late in the game. That's right, Cannon played on both sides of the ball.
Billy Cannon was born in Mississippi, and relocated to Louisiana as a young man when his father found new employment in the state. He attended Istrouman High School in Baton Rouge, where he became a highly sought after recruit.
After his tenure at LSU, Cannon became pro football's first $100,000 player, when he spurned the NFL's Los Angles Rams to sign with the AFL's Houston Oilers. Cannon played pro football from 1960-1970, between the Oilers, Oakland Raiders, and Kansas City Chiefs. Though his pro football career never rose to the same level as his LSU career, he still ended is pro career with over 64 touchdowns and over 6,000 all purpose yards. He led the league in rushing yards in 1961, while making the Pro Bowl, and being named First Team All-Pro.
Cannon is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.