Tommy Casanova Biography
It only makes sense that Tommy Casanova would play for the LSU Tigers. He was born in New Orleans, and went to High School at the Catholic Notre Dame High School in Crowley, Louisiana, where he still resides.
Regarded as one of, if not the best, player to ever pull on the white LSU jersey, Casanova was a three-time member of the College Football All-America team from 1969-71, and is a member of the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-Century team. He is the only three-time All-American in LSU history.
Similar to a fictitious LSU legend named Gavin Gray from the movie, Everyone's All-American, Casanova could do it all. He played running back, punt returner, kick returner, and defensive back.
In the September 13, 1971 issue of Sports Illustrated, the magazine featured Casanova on the front cover, with the headline: "Tommy Casanova of LSU, Best Player in the Nation."
Casanova loved (pun intended) playing in the big games on television. He played a major part in televised victories over #14 Auburn in 1969, a 14-9 victory at #19 Alabama in 1970, #8 LSU's 61-17 victory over #16 Ole Miss in 1970, and #14 LSU's 28-8 victory over #7 Notre Dame in 1971.
His #37 jersey was retired from LSU football on October 10, 2009.
The NFL came calling in the spring of 1972 as the Cincinnati Bengals made him a second round pick. He played safety for the Bengals for five seasons and in that short time was a Pro Bowl selection for four consecutive years starting in 1974. He would finish his brief, but productive, career 17 interceptions.
Proving to be more than just a football player, Casanova attended medical school while playing in Cincinnati. In 1977 he retired from the NFL to pursue his degree full time. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1980, and then began a three-year residency in ophthalmology in New Orleans. He returned to his hometown of Crowley to become an ophthalmologist.
The story of Casanova's incredible post football career turned to politics as he threw his hat into the ring for the Louisiana State Senate. He would go on to upset veteran state Senator Armand Brinkhaus of Sunset and was a member of the State Senate from 1996-2000.
After a single term, Casanova declined to seek reelection and returned to his ophthalmology practice in Crowley.
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