Billy Cannon facts

LSU 1958 National Champs

Billy Cannon was born on born August 2, 1937 in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Cannon played high school football at Istrouma in Baton Rouge. He scored 39 touchdowns his senior year, was named All-State and All-American and led his high school to a state championship in 1955.

Cannon was an All-American running back and tight end. He played for LSU after High School from 1957 to 1959. He was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1960 who were members of the AFL. He was part of a fierce bidding war between the NFL (Rams) and the AFL, owner Bud Adams of the Oilers winning the bidding war. Billy would play for the Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, and Kansas City Chiefs over his eleven year career. He was a three time AFL All-Star and its leading rusher in 1961.

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While Billy was the number pick in the AFL draft and the NFL draft he enjoyed more success at LSU. Here are some of his highlights while at LSU:

  • Led his team to a National Championship in 1958
  • Consensus All-American in 1958 and 1959
  • Won the 1959 Heisman Trophy
  • In 1959 won the 1959 TSN Player of the Year, UPI Player of the Year, Chic Harley Award, and the Walter Camp Memorial Trophy
  • In 1958 won the TSN Player of the Year, UPI Player of the Year, and the 1958 Chic Harley Award.
  • Rushed for 1,867 yards over his career at LSU
  • Scored 40 TDs over his career at LSU
  • Caught 31 passes for 522 yards over his career at LSU
  • The No. 20 jersey worn by Cannon was retired after the 1959 season. It was the only football number retired by LSU until 2009.

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