THE TOP 10: The Players

Since the summer has been very quiet, we at Tiger Rag took on the enormous task of researching the history of LSU Football.

We established several topics concerning LSU Football and went through the years selecting the "Top 10" of each category.

With the help of long-time Times-Picayune sports writer Marty Mule', who also contributes a column to Tiger Rag, we selected the top players, games, performances, wins, losses, controversies and so on.

This is the first installment of a 17-part series we will publish over the next three weeks. Check back to each day for a new list.

Today, we begin with the "Top 10" best players in LSU history. We spotlight each player, outline his accomplishments on the field at LSU and list our honorable mentions as well. Along with Tiger Rag's final picks, we will publish Marty's submissions as well.

Feel free to offer feedback by emailing me at or on our premium message boards.


Top 10 Players

1. Billy Cannon – No doubt the best player in LSU football history. A rare combination of size, strength and power, Cannon led the Tigers to the 1958 national championship. A year later, en route to winning the Heisman Trophy, Cannon was immortalized with his 89-yard punt return for a touchdown on Halloween night, leading No. 1 LSU past No. 3 Ole Miss 7-3. Cannon, who went on to be the top pick in the NFL Draft, was also a track star in the 100-meters, relay events and shot put.


2. Tommy Casanova – The last great LSU player to star at multiple positions. Casanova was a three-time All-American at safety, but he also starred at running back and returned kicks. Casanova went on to star in an All-Pro career for the Cincinnati Bengals.


3. JaMarcus Russell – Probably the most gifted quarterback in LSU's proud history, Russell compiled a 25-4 record as the Tigers' starting quarterback in three seasons. Russell became the second-ever LSU player taken as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.


4. Bert Jones – Next to Russell, Jones possessed the strongest arm in LSU history. Jones led LSU to a 26-6-1 mark as the Tigers' signal caller and was voted All-American in 1972 despite operating in a platoon system with option-style quarterback Paul Lyons.


5. LaRon Landry – Landry is a member of a rare group of four-year starters at LSU. Landry, an All-American and the sixth pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, led the national championship Tigers in tackles his freshman season and starred at free safety from 2003-06.


6. Gaynell "Gus" Tinsley – One of only two former LSU players ever to coach the Tigers (Jerry Stovall), Tinsley was an All-American in 1935 and 1936 at end and helped lead LSU to its first-ever bowl games.


7. Anthony McFarland – McFarland was another rare four-year starter, starring at defensive tackle for LSU from 1995-98. McFarland, a 1998 All-American, was the 15th pick of the 1999 NFL Draft.


8. Kevin Faulk – Faulk is one of the most prolific dual-threat players in LSU history. The school's all-time leading rusher, Faulk started for four years, was an All-American in 1996, and has won three Super Bowl rings with New England.


9. Charles Alexander – Alexander's school rushing record was broken by Kevin Faulk, but the two-time All-American (1977-78) set nine SEC records and 27 school marks while at LSU. Alexander was a first-round draft pick by Cincinnati and played seven seasons with the Bengals. He also played in Super Bowl XVI, in which Cincinnati lost to the 49ers 26-21.


10. Marcus Spears – Spears came to LSU as one of the nation's top prep tight ends. However, Spears moved to defensive end as a sophomore, returned an interception for the national championship-clinching score in the BCS title game, and was named a first-team All-American in 2004. Spears was the 20th pick in the 2005 draft by the Cowboys.


Honorable Mention:

Michael Clayton, Eric Hill, Doc Fenton, Ken Kavanaugh, Y.A. Tittle, Jimmy Taylor, Jerry Stovall, Dalton Hilliard, Mike Anderson, Mike Williams, Albert Richardson, Wendell Davis, Nacho Albergamo, Alan Faneca, Josh Reed, Tommy Hodson, Fred Miller, Michael Brooks, Johnny Robinson, AJ Duhe



Marty's picks: (not necessarily ranked in order)


1. JaMarcus Russell 2003-2006


2. Tommy Casanova, 1969-1971


3. Tommy Hodson, 1986-1989


4. Billy Cannon, 1957-1959


5. Gaynell Tinsley, 1934-1936


6. Kevin Faulk, 1995-98


7. LaRon Landry, 2002-2006


8. Ken Kavanaugh, 1937-39


9. Fred Miller, 1959-62


10. Jerry Stovall, 1959-62




TOMORROW: The Best Teams


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