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Tesalon Felicien | | October 30, 2014

Pillars of the Program: LSU

Pillars of the Program: LSU football

The top three pillars of the program are in the video above -- now check out who just missed the cut ...

LSU's football history is among the longest of any college football program. It's early years can be described with one word -- patience. The Tigers played their first game in November of 1893, a 34-0 loss to Tulane. It took more than a year before they got their first win. That victory finally came on Nov. 30, 1894 against Natchez AC by the count of 26-0. Nearly a year after that, on Oct. 26, 1895, the Tigers got their first win in Baton Rouge, an 8-4 triumph against Tulane at State Field in "The Battle for the Rag."

Billy Cannon
Halfback | 1957-59
♦ 1959 Heisman Trophy winner
♦ Two-time consensus All-American
Tommy Casanova
Defensive Back | 1969-71
♦ Three-time All-American (1969-71)
♦ Also played RB and kick returner
Kevin Faulk
Running Back | 1995-98
♦ Career: 4,557 rushing yards, 53 TDs
♦ Held 17 SEC and LSU records
Charles Alexander
Running Back | 1975-78
♦ Two-time All-American (1977-78)
♦ Career: Rushed for 4,035 yards
LaRon Landry
Defensive Back | 2003-06
♦ Led LSU in tackles in 2003, '04, '06
♦ Career: 12 INTs, 315 tackles
Josh Reed
Wide Receiver | 1999-2001
♦ Holds two LSU receiving records
♦ Won Biletnikoff Award in 2001
Jerry Stovall
HB, DB, Returner | 1959-62
♦ Career: 1,533 all-purpose yards
♦ Named to College Football HOF
Y.A. Tittle
Quarterback | 1944-47
♦ Held three different LSU records
♦ MOP of famous 1947 Cotton Bowl

That patience has been handsomely rewarded, to the tune of 11 SEC titles, three national championships and a program full of strong pillars.

Charles Alexander
Before there was Kevin Faulk or Joseph Addai, there was “Alexander the Great.” Few running backs have dominated a conference like Charles Alexander did the Southeastern Conference from 1975-78. By the end of his collegiate career, this two-time All-American had shattered most of the existing rushing records in the SEC.

He remains atop several rushing lists at LSU, notably, most average rushing yards per game in a season (153.3 in 1977) and most rushing yards in a season (1,686). That same year, Alexander rushed for more than 200 yards against Wyoming (233) and Oregon (237).  Alexander was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

LaRon Landry
LaRon Landry terrorized receivers long before LSU became known as “Defensive Back U.” Nicknamed “Dirty 30” for his physical style of play, Landry manned LSU’s secondary from 2003-06. A four-year starter, he made an immediate impact by starting 10 games as freshman and earning First-Team All-SEC honors. Not one to shy away from contact, Landry led the Tigers in total tackles in 2003, '04 and '06. He concluded his career with 12 interceptions, 315 career tackles and eight sacks.

Josh Reed
Listed at 5-foot-11, 201 pounds, Josh Reed played more like a 6-foot-4 receiver. This three-year letterman emerged as a go-to option in his sophomore year, finishing the season with 1,127 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. A favorite target for quarterback Rohan Davey, Reed began the 2001 season with a record six consecutive 100-yard games.

He torched Alabama with 19 receptions and 293 all-purpose yards. Later that year, he was awarded the Biletnikoff Award, given to the most outstanding receiver in the country. He holds school records for the most 100-yard games in a season with 11, and most receiving yards in a single season (1,740). Reed exited the program as the most decorated player in LSU history.

Jerry Stovall
Replacing a Heisman Trophy winner is a formidable task for any program, but LSU struck gold with freshman Jerry Stovall in 1959. With Billy Cannon off to the NFL, Stovall embarked on an impressive career of his own, playing halfback, defensive back and returner. In 1962, he was named the SEC’s Most Valuable Player and finished second in the Heisman Trophy race to Oregon State quarterback Terry Baker.

A dangerous return man, Stovall broke a 98-yard kick-off return to defeat Georgia Tech 10-7 that same year. By the end of his collegiate career, he amassed 1,081 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, and racked up seven interceptions on defense. Stovall later returned to LSU in 1980 to serve a four-year stint as head coach.

Y.A. Tittle
His career lasted as long as his name -- Yelberton Abraham Tittle Jr. -- playing four seasons at LSU and 17 in the NFL. Under then-coach Bernie Moore, Tittle revolutionized LSU’s offense, setting records in completions and touchdowns at quarterback while also playing defensive back. He led the Tigers with 271 total yards and 15 first downs in a scoreless meeting against Arkansas in the 1947 Cotton Bowl. Among his many accolades, the “Bald Eagle” is tied for fifth all-time for wins by a starting quarterback with 23.

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