LSU 1959 Heisman winner Billy Cannon hospitalized due to stroke

By Chris Huston | College Football Writer
The 1959 Heisman winner, Billy Cannon of LSU, has suffered a stroke. (Photo courtesy

LSU released the following statement on 1959 Heisman winner Billy Cannon on Tuesday after the Tigers legend suffered a stroke:

LSU football legend Billy Cannon has been hospitalized due to a stroke, but he is alert and resting, his family informed LSU Tuesday afternoon.

Doctors will conduct tests to determine the extent of the stroke, according to the family. Cannon will remain in ICU tonight. The family expressed its thanks for the prayers and concerns of friends and fans.

Cannon helped lead LSU to an 11-0 record and the AP national title in 1958. He won the school's only Heisman the following year, in large part because of his remarkable punt return touchdown in a 7-3 win over Mississippi on Halloween night.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Cannon had a rare combination of strength and speed, and it served him well as the No. 1 pick in the 1960 NFL and AFL drafts. He played 11 seasons in the pros, 10 of them in the AFL for the Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders.

He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

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