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#20 Billy Cannon
Position: Halfback
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Class: Senior
Experience: 3 Letters
City/State: Baton Rouge, La.
High School: Istrouma HS
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Cannon Videos
Billy Cannon Bio
Courtesy: LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
Release: 07/18/2009

2008 Class of the National College Football Hall of Fame Election | Induction
No. 1 Pick in the 1960 AFL Draft (Houston Oilers)
No. 1 Pick in the 1960 NFL Draft (Los Angeles Rams)
1976 Inducted Into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
1975 Inducted Into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame
1959 No. 20 Jersey Retired by LSU Football
1959 Heisman Trophy Winner (Downtown Athletic Club of New York)
1959 AP Player of the Year
1959 UPI Player of the Year
1959 The Sporting News Player of the Year
1959 All-American (consensus)
1959 Outstanding College Player (Columbus, Ohio Touchdown Club)
1959 Walter Camp Memorial Trophy (Washington, D.C. TD Club)
1959 College Back of the Year (Los Angeles Times)
1959 AP Back of the Year
1959 UPI Back of the Year
1959 SEC Player of the Year (Nashville Banner)
1959 SEC Player of the Year (Atlanta Touchdown Club)
1958 UPI Player of the Year
1958 The Sporting News Player of the Year
1958 Outstanding College Player (Columbus, Ohio Touchdown Club)
1958 AP Back of the Year
1958 UPI Back of the Year
1958 All-American (consensus)
1958 SEC Player of theYear (Nashville Banner)
1958 SEC Back of the Year (Atlanta Touchdown Club)
1958 SEC Back of the Year (Birmingham Touchdown Club)
1958 All-SEC (AP and UPI)
1958 Louisiana VFW Award (Louisiana outstanding athlete)
1957 Second-Team All-SEC (UPI)
1957 All-SEC Sophomore Team

COLLEGE CAREER
Even by modern standards, Billy Cannon was a rare athlete, combining sprinter speed with brute strength ... Cannon could consistently run a 9.5 in the 100-yard dash and, at 6-1, 210 pounds, he had the size to overpower his opponents as well as outrun them ... In 1957, he was an immediate standout as a sophomore, offensively and defensively ... As a junior, Cannon was the driving force behind the Fighting Tigers as they carved out a perfect season and captured the 1958 national championship ... He passed for a touchdown and kicked the extra point in LSU’s 7-0 win over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, and earned MVP honors ... cannon’s most memorable performance came in 1959 against Ole Miss ... Top-ranked LSU trailed the third-ranked Rebels 3-0 early in the fourth quarter, when Cannon fielded a punt at the LSU 11-yard-line and broke seven tackles on his way to paydirt ... LSU won the contest 7-3 ... Considered one of the best collegiate backs of his era ...Was awarded the Heisman Trophy at the conclusion of the 1959 season ... He was given virtually every honor that could be bestowed on an individual, including All-America accolades in 1958 and 1959 ... Cannon was considered almost as valuable on defense as he was on offense ... His 89-yard punt return in 1959 against Ole Miss has become a gridiron legend, but few remember that he and Warren Rabb stuffed Ole Miss at the goal line of a fourth and inches to preserve the dramatic 7-3 victory ... A three-year letterwinner for the Tigers (1957-59), he was also a two-time first-team All-SEC selection (1958-59) ... He went on to have a superb nine-year career in the AFL with the Houston Oilers and the Oakland Raiders ... Ended his professional football career in 1970 with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

SENIOR SEASON (1959)
Considered the best running back in the nation by most media outlets ... Helped lead the Tigers to a 9-2 season and a Sugar Bowl berth ... Named the Heisman Trophy Winner by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York ... Earned AP and UPI Player of the Year award honors ... Also earned Back of the Year honors from the AP and UPI, as well as from the Los Angeles Times ... Named the Sporting News Player of the Year ... A consensus All-American ... Named the Outstanding College Player of the Year by the Columbus, Ohio Touchdown Club ... Earned the Walter Camp Memorial Trophy from the Washington, D.C. Touchdown Club ... Named the SEC Player of the Year by the Nashville Banner as well as the Atlanta Touchdown Club ... Led the Tigers in rushing with 598 yards on 139 carries (4.3 per rush) ... Rushed for five touchdowns ... Caught 11 passes for 161 yards ... Served as the Tiger’s punter for a majority of the season, punting 44 times for 1,774 yards (40.3 per punt) ... Was the Tiger’s primary return man, returning eight kickoffs for 191 yards (23.8 per return) and 15 punts for 221 yards (14.7 per return) and one touchdown ... Also served as the anchor for the Tiger’s defense, returning four interceptions for 145 yards (47.6 per interception) ... Against No. 3 Ole Miss, returned a punt 89 yards for a score in the waning moments for the only touchdown in the 7-3 victory for LSU ... Rushed for 122 yards and one touchdown in a 14-13 loss against No. 13 Tennessee ... Ran for 90 yards and one touchdown in the Tigers 27-3 victory over Miami (Fla.) ... Rushed for 73 yards in only nine carries in a 22-0 win over Baylor ... Scored a touchdown on a 50 interception runback against Baylor ... Scored a touchdown and ran for 66 yards in the Tigers’ 26-3 victory over Rice ... Rushed for a touchdown and 66 yards in a 14-6 win over Tulane.
 
JUNIOR SEASON (1958)
Arguably the top player on LSU’s National Championship squad ... Played in al 11 games ... Helped lead the Tigers to a 11-0 season, including a 7-0 win over No. 12 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl in which he was responsible for all seven points ... Threw the lone touchdown pass in the Sugar Bowl to Mickey Mangham and kicked the point after ... A consensus All-American ... Earned Player of the Year honors from UPI, The Sporting News and from the Columbus, Ohio Touchdown Club ... Was named the Back of the Year by the AP and the UPI ... Named the SEC Player of the Year by the Nashville Banner ... Earned SEC Back of the Year honors from the Atlanta Touchdown Club and the Birmingham Touchdown Club ... An All-SEC performer ... Won the Louisiana VFW Award, given to Louisiana’s most outstanding athlete ... Led the Tigers in rushing with 686 yards on 115 attempts (5.9 per rush) ... Only lost three yards rushing all season long ... Scored a team-high 11 touchdowns, including 10 on the ground and one in the air ... Hauled in nine passes for 162 yards .. Returned nine punts for 89 yards and three kickoffs for 82 yards ... Notched three interceptions on the defensive side of the ball for the famed Chinese Bandits defense ... Rushed for 108 yards on 12 attempts in LSU’s 32-7 victory over Kentucky ... A major contributor in LSU’s 62-0 victory over in-state rival Tulane, rushing for 117 yards ... Tallied 86 yards on 12 attempts against Alabama in a 13-3 LSU win ... In addition to his touchdown pass and point after, rushed for 51 yards against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.

SOPHOMORE SEASON (1957)
Broke onto the scene in 1957, earning Second-Team All-SEC honors by the UPI ... Also named to the All-SEC Sophomore Team ... Second on the team in rushing with 583 yards on 105 carries (5.5 per rush) and four touchdowns ... Hauled in 11 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown ... Returned 11 kickoffs for 343 yards and one touchdown ... Also returned seven punts for 39 yards ... Served as the Tigers’ primary punter, kicking 43 times for 1,596 yards (37.1 per punt) ... Ran for 71 yards in only six attempts in his first game on the varsity squad, a 20-14 loss against Rice ... Rushed for 140 yards and two touchdown in the Tigers’ 28-0 pounding of Alabama in only his second game ... Caught a 59 yard touchdown pass and scored on a 97 yard kickoff return in a 19-14 win over Texas Tech ... Scored a touchdown on a two yard run, capping a 21-0 victory against Kentucky ... Notched 98 yards on the ground in a 20-13 victory over No. 17 Georgia Tech ... Tallied 68 yards rushing against Tulane in a 25-6 Tigers victory.

Cannon's Career Rushing Statistics

YEAR

ATT

YDS.

AVG.

TD

1957

105

583

5.5

4

1958

115

686

5.9

10

1959

139

598

4.3

5

Totals

359

1867

5.2

19

Cannon's Career Receiving Statistics

YEAR

REC.

YDS.

TD

1957

11

199

1

1958

9

162

1

1959

11

161

0

Totals

31

522

2

Cannon's Career Passing Statistics

YEAR

ATT.

CMP.

HI

YDS.

TD

1957

16

7

1

84

0

1958

4

3

0

14

0

1959

6

2

2

20

0

Totals

26

12

3

118

0

Cannon's Career Punt Return Statistics

YEAR

NO.

YDS.

TD

1957

7

39

0

1958

9

89

0

1959

15

221

1

Totals

31

349

1

Cannon's Career Kickoff Return Statistics

YEAR

NO.

YDS.

TD

1957

11

343

1

1958

3

82

0

1959

8

191

0

Totals

22

616

1

Cannon’s Game-by-Game Rushing Stats

1957

Opponent

NO.

YDS.

AVG.

Rice

6

71

11.8

Alabama

8

140

17.5

Texas

13

36

2.8

Georgia Tech

17

98

5.8

Kentucky

11

70

6.4

Florida

11

22

2.0

Vanderbilt

11

46

4.2

Ole Miss

3

5

1.7

Mississippi State

11

27

2.5

Tulane

14

68

4.8

Totals

105

583

5.5

1958

Opponent

NO.

YDS.

AVG.

Rice

9

53

5.9

Alabama

12

86

7.2

Hardin-Simmons

11

83

7.5

Miami

9

34

3.8

Kentucky

12

108

9.0

Florida

15

61

4.1

Ole Miss

11

34

3.1

Duke

8

53

6.6

Mississippi State

13

57

4.4

Tulane

15

117

7.8

Totals

115

686

5.9

Clemson (Sugar Bowl)*

13

51

3.9

1959

Opponent

NO.

YDS.

AVG.

Rice

15

66

4.4

TCU

9

35

3.9

Baylor

8

73

9.1

Miami

17

90

5.3

Kentucky

11

11

1.0

Florida

15

55

3.7

Ole Miss

12

48

4.0

Tennessee

22

122

5.5

Mississippi State

16

32

2.0

Tulane

14

66

4.7

Totals

139

598

4.3

Ole Miss (Sugar Bowl)*

6

8

1.3

* During Cannon's years at LSU, bowl statistics did not count toward season totals.

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