Former Oakland Raiders running back/tight end Billy Cannon passed away Friday.
The former LSU Tiger spent six seasons in the Silver and Black from 1964 to 1969. During his tenure with the team, Cannon totaled 338 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, 2,268 receiving yards, and 25 receiving touchdowns. He was also named a Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro during his six seasons with the Raiders.
Cannon had quite the career with the Raiders, but his talent was recognized far before he reached the NFL stage. As mentioned previously, Cannon went to LSU, and played on the football team for three years where he served as the team’s running back. He registered 1,867 rushing yards, 19 rushing touchdowns, 522 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns, but most notably, Cannon took home the Heisman Trophy in 1959.
Cannon was the first of six Raiders to be dubbed a Heisman Trophy winner; let’s take a look at who else won the prestigious award.
Jim Plunkett (1970)
The former Stanford Cardinal led his team to a Rose Bowl victory during the 1970 season, and was voted the Heisman-winner shortly thereafter. Originally selected No. 1 overall by the New England Patriots during the 1971 Draft, former Raiders Owner and Coach Al Davis signed Plunkett as a free agent in 1978. Plunkett would go on to lead the Silver and Black to a pair of Super Bowl Championships, and was named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player in 1980.
Marcus Allen (1981)
In 1981, finding a college player better than Allen was unachievable, after the former USC Trojan rushed for 2,427 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior season. He wound up being the Raiders first choice in the 1982 draft, and totaled over 1,000 yards in his rookie season. Allen helped the team win Super Bowl XVIII after rushing for 191 yards, which earned him the MVP award.
Bo Jackson (1985)
Arguably one of the best athletes to ever play, Jackson was a standout at Auburn, and became a member of the exclusive Heisman community in 1985. Despite being selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, Jackson choose to take his talents to the MLB instead; however, in 1987 Jackson was selected by the Raiders in the seventh round of the Draft, and decided to play football at the end of his season with the Kansas City Royals. It didn’t take long for Jackson to make an impact in the NFL, and became the first player in history to play in All Star games in two separate sports.
Tim Brown (1987)
Once a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Brown was a dynamic athlete in college, playing as a wide receiver, running back, punt returner, and kickoff returner. He was selected early on during the 1988 Draft by the Raiders, and then set an NFL rookie record for total yardage with 2,316 yards. He would go on to become the team’s all-time leading receiver, and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
Desmond Howard (1991)
Howard was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 1991, and similarly to Brown he did a bit of everything. He was an important piece of the University of Michigan football team, and became a member of the Raiders in 1997. In his two seasons with the Raiders, Howard totaled 3,155 scrimmage yards, and two touchdowns.
Charles Woodson (1997)
“C-Wood” doesn’t need much of an introduction, but the former Michigan Wolverine became the first predominantly defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy since the award began in 1936.
No. 24 was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, a nine-time Pro Bowler, three-time First-Team All-Pro, and totaled 27 interceptions, 56 passes defensed, 18 forced fumbles, three touchdowns, and 743 tackles during his 11 years with the Raiders. Woodson is highly regarded as one of Raider Nation’s favorite players for many reasons, and will be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year.
Carson Palmer (2002)
After being acquired by the Raiders via trade in 2011, Palmer played for the Raiders two seasons. He led the team to an 8-16 record during his two years, and totaled 6,771 passing yards and 35 touchdowns. The former USC quarterback would eventually join the Arizona Cardinals.
Other Heisman Winners:
Matt Leinart (2004) - Leinart played two games with the Raiders, completing 48.5 percent of his passes, and totaling 115 yards.
Andre Ware (1994)
Rashaan Salaam (1999)
Ware and Salaam were with the Raiders in the offseason and Training Camp.