In LSU’s storied football history, perhaps no one had a season returning kicks quite like Sammy Grezaffi did his senior year in 1967.
“What made Sammy run?” author Peter Finney asked in his book, “The Fighting Tigers.”
Speed and elusiveness — that’s what made Grezaffi run — all the way to All-Southeastern Conference honors as a safety and a reputation as one of the most accomplished kick returners the Tigers ever had.
Friday, Grezaffi died in his hometown of New Roads. He was 65.
Grezaffi is survived by his wife, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law and a granddaughter.
According to the Grezaffi family, visitation will be from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday at St. Mary’s of False River Catholic Church, 348 West Main Street in New Roads. Funeral services will immediately follow.
What Grezaffi did his senior season will always live on as part of LSU football lore.
Grezaffi set or tied three school records that year, including the first 100-yard kickoff return in school history in a game against Tennessee on Oct. 28.
Since then, Eric Martin had the only other 100-yard kickoff return for LSU, in a game against Kentucky in 1981. Morris Claiborne missed tying their unbreakable record by one yard with a 99-yard kickoff return against West Virginia last season.
Grezaffi tied a school record for most punt returns in a single game with seven in a contest against Ole Miss that season on Nov. 4. For the year, Grezaffi set a school record with 41 punt returns for 369 yards, a yardage total that still ranks ninth in LSU history.
His career total of 905 career punt return yards still ranks fourth in Tiger annals.
Grezaffi also lettered for LSU in 1965 and 1966. He went on to be selected in the seventh round of the 1968 NFL draft with the 184th overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, but did not make the team.
Grezaffi returned to his hometown of New Roads, where he owned several businesses.