In the long history of Southeastern Conference football there aren’t many names bigger than that of Billy Cannon. The 1959 Heisman Trophy-winner made news on and off the field in a turbulent career and life that’s seen him rise to the pinnacle of LSU sports lore.
Today, the 75-year-old ex-tailback is in intensive care in Baton Rouge recovering from a stroke. The school confirmed through Cannon’s family that he had a stroke, but it was made clear that he alert and resting as of last night.
Cannon led LSU to a national title in 1958. As noted above, he won the Heisman a season later. The signature moment of his career came on an 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss on Halloween night in ’59. The play remains one of the most iconic runs in SEC history:
Cannon became an orthodontist after his AFL career ended. He has been the head of the dental program at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola for 15 years.
Our best wishes to Cannon and his family as he recovers.