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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Billy Cannon hospitalized after stroke

By Edward Aschoff

Former LSU Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon was hospitalized Tuesday after suffering a stroke.

Cannon, 75, played both tailback and on defense for the Tigers, winning the Heisman in 1959. He was transported by ambulance from the Louisiana state penitentiary at Angola at about 12:30 p.m., on Tuesday, said Cathy Fontenot, a prison spokeswoman. Cannon has been the director of the prison's dental program for about 15 years.

"He did have a stroke and the doctors will conduct tests to see the extent. They will keep him in ICU tonight and watch him overnight," Cannon's family said in an emailed statement. "The family thanks everyone for their prayers and concerns."

The statement also said that Cannon was "alert and resting."

A signature moment in Cannon's LSU career -- and Heisman run -- came in 1959 when he returned a punt 89 yards (Halloween Run) against No. 3 Ole Miss on Halloween Night with 10 minutes left to give top-ranked LSU a 7-3 win against the Rebels.

Cannon has remained very close to LSU's athletic department over the years.