He won the Heisman Trophy back in 1994 when he played for the University of Colorado. Then he went on to play in the NFL for 4 years. Rashaan Salaam, 42, was recently found dead in a park in Colorado.
The cause of death is unconfirmed according to the Boulder County Coroner’s Office, who confirmed the former pro’s identity on Dec. 6.
It appears there was no foul play involved and they are saying the community is not at risk.
The cause of death is believed to likely be that of a suicide though. A passerby noticed the body a the local park.
Salaam rushed for over 2,000 years during the season when he won the famed Heisman.
Here’s what the athletic director, Rick George, had to say:
“The Buff family has lost an outstanding young man and a great Buff today. We are heartbroken for Rashaan and his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time.”
The Chicago Bears picked up Salaam for his first season in the NFL. He ended up becoming the youngest NFL player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season!
In seasons to follow, Salaam began to suffer from a number of injuries. He was noted as using marijuana off the field.
The Cleveland Browns in 1999 was his last NFL spot, and he would later attempt a comeback in the XFL and CFL, but those attempts didn’t pan out.
His former coach Bill McCartney said the following:
“He was very coachable. He had a happy heart. I loved being around him. He didn’t take himself too seriously, and he always credited those around him, especially his offensive line. What I liked about him is that he had a sparkle in his eye. He was upbeat and positive.”
The Spin Foundation was established by Salaam in order to help out kids achieve success in Colorado.
Salaam had published the following on his website:
“Life can present many obstacles and difficult decisions at any age, but especially as a young person.”