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The Class of 2019 contains a couple of multi-sport collegiate athletes, but no one racked up the accolades across different playing fields quite like Johnny Robinson.
As an all-state football, tennis and basketball star in the Baton Rouge area throughout high school, there was no question as to where Robinson would be spending his collegiate career — Louisiana State University.
While he’s known for a Hall of Fame career as a safety, Robinson played three seasons at LSU as a running back.
In 1957, Robinson’s first season with the Tigers, he sat behind the veteran running backs on the depth chart but was still able to get his feet wet with 22 carries throughout the season.
But in 1958, Robinson became a household name. As a part of a backfield trio of Billy Cannon, Warren Rabb and himself, Robinson helped lead LSU to an 11-0 record and the university’s first national championship.
Robinson was the second leading rusher for the Tigers behind Cannon, gaining 480 yards on 86 carries through 11 games. He earned First Team All-SEC honors for his efforts.
In his last season at LSU, Robinson remained an important cog in the offense, sprinting for 316 yards on 84 carries as the Tigers went 9-2.
While his offensive output helped lead LSU to its first national title, Robinson was equally successful on the tennis courts. He won both the SEC singles championship and SEC doubles championship, alongside his brother Tommy, during his tenure at LSU.
While finding success in tennis, Robinson knew that his professional playing career was on the gridiron.
Robinson was a member of the inaugural AFL Draft, which lasted 33 rounds to fill the rosters of the eight new franchises. He was selected in the first round by the Dallas Texans, who would become the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963.
Robinson was also eligible for the 1960 NFL Draft, where he was selected third overall by the Detroit Lions. He opted to play for the Texans in the AFL instead.
Other Hall of Fame members of the 1960 NFL Draft and AFL Draft class include Ron Mix (selected 10th overall in NFL, 1st round in AFL), Larry Wilson (74th overall in NFL) and Jim Otto (undrafted).
Johnny Robinson’s contributions to the game since 1958 will be recognized on the grandest stage in the sport when he’s Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Be there to see the legendary Robinson be welcomed into Canton with an Official Ticket Package from HOF Experiences. Click below to see all available package options.
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