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The Best LSU Tigers Running Backs of All Time

Who are the greatest running backs ever to play for LSU? Throughout the long and illustrious history of the Tigers, numerous all-time greats have graced Baton Rouge’s revered oaks and dazzled fans on Saturday nights in Death Valley.

Famous All Americans, NFL-caliber LSU running backs, and Hall of Famers make up a typical LSU football roster. Who has ever been the best LSU running back? Which LSU Tigers running back do you adore?

Kevin Faulk, Leonard Fournette, Jeremy Hill, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are among the best college running backs of all time and some of the best LSU runnings backs ever. Then there are the LSU running backs like Stevan Ridley, Derrius Guice, and Joseph Addai who went on to play in the NFL. Billy Cannon, the LSU Heisman Trophy winner, must not be forgotten.

#5. Jimmy Taylor

In his two seasons with the Tigers, Taylor was a reliable back who finished fifth in the SEC in carries in 1956 and second in carries in 1957, respectively.

In Taylor’s final season, which also happened to be his best, he and Billy Cannon, who ran the ball, formed a one-two punch. That year, he ran for 762 yards and scored 12 times, was named SEC Player of the Year and All-America.

During Taylor’s time in the NFL, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, won a Super Bowl championship with the Packers, and made five Pro Bowls.

Statistics: 1,314 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns

#4. Dalton Hilliard

Dalton Hilliard had one of the best careers in SEC history from 1982 to 1985. By the end of his four seasons, he had surpassed 4,000 yards.

He went over 900 yards three times and scored double-digit touchdowns in three of his four seasons, including two seasons with 1,000 yards to end his career. In addition, Hilliard was an excellent receiver, catching at least 30 passes in three of his four seasons.

Hilliard is second in rushing yards and has the most carries in school history. Hilliard, who stood just 5 feet 8 inches tall, used his quickness, elusiveness, and deceptive cutting ability to blow up SEC defenses during his four years at LSU.

Hilliard made the Pro Bowl in 1989 while playing for the New Orleans Saints for eight years in the NFL. Kenny, his nephew, just finished four years at LSU.

Statistics: 44 TDs and 4,050 rushing yards; 6 touchdowns, 1,133 receiving yards

#3. Charles Alexander

Alexander, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012, was one of only nine LSU players to be named All-American twice. After rushing for nearly 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns in 1977, he was named the SEC Player of the Year. In both 1977 and 1978, he led the SEC in rushing.

Alexander left LSU as the school’s all-time leading rusher (he is now third) and with the school’s single-game rushing record, and those seasons remain the top two for carries by LSU backs. He still holds the LSU single-season record for rushing.

Statistics: 40 touchdowns, 4,035 yards rushing; 4 touchdowns, 431 receiving yards

#2. Kevin Faulk

Kevin Faulk was LSU’s all-time leading rusher from 1995 to 1998. He was also one of the most versatile backs in SEC history. He finished third in SEC history in touchdowns scored and fourth in yards from scrimmage.

While leaving school as the Tigers’ leader in yards per carry, Faulk went on to surpass Alexander and Hilliard in a number of career marks, including career yards per game and touchdowns scored.

He still holds the school record for the most games with 100 and 200 yards, three of the top 10 rushing seasons, and the most games with 1,000 yards. One of the best kick returners in school history, Faulk has twice led the Southeastern Conference in yards from scrimmage.

He was a key component of three Super Bowl-winning teams during his 13-year NFL career with the New England Patriots.

Statistics: 46 touchdowns, 4,557 yards rushing; 600 receiving yards, and 4 TDs; 1,676 total punt and kick return yards, 3 touchdowns.

#1. Billy Cannon

Cannon is generally regarded as the greatest player in LSU history at any position. The 1959 Heisman Trophy winner was a versatile weapon for LSU. He was a player who stood out for his time because of his unusual speed and strength.

Cannon won the Heisman Trophy in addition to finishing third in 1958. Between 1958 and 1959, he was named SEC Player of the Year and was a two-time All-American. He also won the Walter Camp award in 1959.

Actually, Cannon’s best season was 1958, when he won the UPI National Player of the Year award, led LSU to its first national championship, and led the SEC in total yards and touchdowns.

However, his 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss in 1959 on Halloween night is perhaps his most well-known moment. He had a successful career in the league, winning two MVP awards with the Oilers during his first two seasons.

After suffering a back injury, he switched to tight end and helped the Oakland Raiders win another AFL championship.

Statistics: 19 touchdowns, 1,867 yards rushing; 2 TDs, 522 receiving yards

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