As per the county coroner’s office, Rashaan Salaam was found dead at a park in Boulder on Monday evening. Salaam ran for more than 2,000 yards for the University of Colorado when they won the 1994 Heisman Trophy.
The 42-year-old Salaam was found at Eben G. Fine Park. However, the reason of his death in not yet confirmed before an autopsy.
Rick George, the Athletic Director, said in a statement that the Buff Family had lost an outstanding young man. He added that people at the university are heartbroken for Rashaan and his family.
In the year 1994, Salaam had 24 touchdowns and rushed for 2,055 yards. Due to his efforts, the Buffalos clinched an 11-1 record victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Colorado University finished that season at No. 3 in the nation which is their second-best ever finish.
Bill McCartney, the former head coach, said that Salaam was very coachable and had a happy heart. He added that Salaam didn’t take himself too seriously and always credited those around him. The coach still remembers the spark in his eyes which exuded his upbeat and positive outlook.
Salaam decided to enter the NFL in the spring rather than returning for his senior year in Boulder. Furthermore, he drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round. He scored 13 touchdowns and ran for more than 1,000 yards as a rookie. However, his performance decreased drastically in the following two seasons.
Rashaan Salaam appeared for the Cleveland Browns in two games in 1999 and didn’t leave the club despite repeated attempts of poaching by other NFL teams.
Philip P. DiStefano, the Colorado University Chancellor, said that the entire university community mourns on Rashaan’s death. He added that Rashaan would be remembered as one of the greatest football players to play for the University. He remembered Rashaan’s 1994 Heisman Trophy contributions and said that Salaam brought great honor to the university.