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Kansas City's LSU Pipeline

Posted Jul 11, 2011

Chiefs Hall of Famer Johnny Robinson kick-started the an LSU connection in 1960 for the then Dallas Texans

The Louisiana State University Athletic Program is highly regarded as one of the most prestigious in the country. Every year, the Tigers seem to contend for championships in at least one sport and its football program has established itself as a breeding ground for future NFL players.

The Chiefs have had players from over 260 different schools appear on the club’s all-time roster, but none can top the 20 that LSU has produced for Kansas City.

Currently, a handful of LSU alums appear on Kansas City’s roster, but the Chiefs-Tigers relationship began as early as the AFL’s first draft in 1960.

 In the 1960 AFL Draft, the then Dallas Texans selected defensive back Johnny Robinson in the “first selections” round. A seven-time All-Star, Robinson spent his entire career with the team (1960-1971) and posted two seasons with 10 interceptions. He also scored several rushing and receiving touchdowns for the Texans before moving to Kansas City where he returned punts and kicks as well.

Along with Robinson, the Texans had five other players on the team that year that were LSU alums as well. Defensive tackle R.B. Nunnery, DE Paul Miller, G Sid Fournet, DT Ray Collins and DE Mel Branch all joined Robinson for a Tiger-filled roster, but only Branch lasted more than two seasons with the team and none were able to replicate the success of Robinson.

A few years later, another Tiger, G Remi Prudhomme, joined the team after two seasons in Buffalo and played in 28 games during his two years with the Chiefs.

Every Chiefs fan remembers the historic 65 Toss Power Trap call from Head Coach Hank Stram to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl in SB IV, but what some may not know is that the play would not have happened without Prudhomme.

Late in the second quarter, Charlie West of the Vikings fumbled a kickoff return and Prudhomme recovered the fumble on the 19 yard line, putting the Chiefs is great field position and setting up the 65 TPT touchdown.

After Prudhomme moved on, TE/RB Billy Cannon came to Kansas City after 10 successful years with Houston and Oakland. The utility man’s only season with the Chiefs was his final season of his career, only playing in six games with 125 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns.

In the 1972 NFL Draft, the Chiefs took another LSU Tiger with WR Andy Hamilton in the fourth round. Hamilton only played two seasons in Kansas City before going to New Orleans but didn’t have much success with the team, only registering four catches as a Chief for 60 combined yards.

Just five years prior to Hamilton’s arrival, Kansas City drafted LSU TE Billy Masters, but he was acquired by the Bills after the draft and didn’t play in a Chiefs uniform until 1975. Masters played in 24 contests in two years for the team, catching three touchdowns each year and nearly 300 receiving yards per year.

A couple years went by before the Chiefs put another Tiger on the team, and in 1980, Kansas City took WR Carlos Carson in the 5th round of the draft. Carson spent his entire 10-year career with the Chiefs and notched three seasons with over 1000 receiving yards as well as 33 career touchdowns.

In 1991, Kansas City used its first round pick to select LSU RB Harvey Williams 21st overall. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Williams played just three seasons with the team before going to Oakland where he posted his best career numbers. Williams rushed for 447 yards his rookie year with three total touchdowns for his best season as a Chief.

Like Prudhomme, WR Eric Martin is another player who only spent his final season in the NFL with the Chiefs. The 10-year veteran joined the roster in 1994 and caught 21 passes for 307 yards and a touchdown. Running back Victor Jones, also an LSU alum, was acquired by the Chiefs during the season but played just one game and didn’t register a carry.

One of the greatest statistical receivers in Chiefs history joined the team in 2001 after being released by the Broncos because he was retiring, and then un-retired to sign with the Chiefs soon after.

Eddie Kennison registered the best seasons of his career in Kansas City, with two seasons over 1,000 receiving yards. Overall, Kennison averaged 960 yards and five touchdowns between 2002 and 2006. He was released after the 2007 campaign as he was sidelined due to a hamstring injury on the first play of the season.

LSU Tiger Reggie Jones was also on roster in 2001, rejoining the team after spending the 1997 season on injured reserve, but the wide receiver never saw game action.

Currently, the Chiefs have five LSU Tigers on the team, all of which saw substantial minutes last season and were important components in the club’s worst-to-first turnaround.

Dwayne Bowe is the most prominent of the group, with two seasons of over 1,000 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns in four years. The former first round pick had 15 touchdowns last year alone, and many are eager to see if he can replicate those numbers this season.

Glenn Dorsey is next on the list and a first round pick as well. A college teammate of Bowe’s, Dorsey started all 16 games as a rookie with the Chiefs and has only missed one start once since joining the team. Dorsey was a defensive tackle in college, and many thought he wouldn’t be able to change positions so he could fit into the Chiefs’ defensive scheme, but his 169 total tackles in his first three seasons has made him a staple on the defensive line.

Dorsey’s fellow defensive end, Tyson Jackson, was drafted by the Chiefs in 2009 at 3rd overall and started 14 games his rookie year. He contributed 37 tackles in an injury-plagued 2010 season.

In 2009, the Chiefs acquired LSU alum Travis Daniels. Daniels had played for Miami and Cleveland before coming to Kansas City, and after playing in just nine games with two starts during his first season with the Chiefs, he played in all 16 last season.

The final Tiger player on the Chiefs roster is Rudy Niswanger, an undrafted arrival in 2006. Niswanger started 31 games from 2008-2009 but lost his starter spot to 15-year veteran Casey Wiegmann last season.

In all, 21 LSU Tigers have come through the ranks of the Chiefs organization. Even though every one hasn’t panned out into a Pro Bowler or league-leader, the connection between the Chiefs and Tigers dates back to Lamar Hunt founding the team in 1960 and has been a piece to the puzzle that has shaped the team to what it is today.

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