Rashaan Salaam, Former Heisman Winner And NFL First-Round Draft Pick, Found Dead


The football community lost a special member.

Former Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam was found dead in Boulder, Colo., on Monday night. He was 42.

Boulder police said they did not believe foul play was involved, according to the Colorado University Athletics website.

Salaam won the 1994 Heisman Trophy after leading Colorado to an 11-1 record and a victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, ultimately ending the season ranked third in the nation. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears as the 21st overall pick in 1995 and posted 1,074 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, becoming the youngest player ever to have a 1,000-plus-yard rushing season.

Salaam struggled with fumbles, totaling nine in his rookie year and five over the next two seasons in limited action. That, combined with injuries and struggles with marijuana use, led to him being out of the league after just three seasons. He finished his NFL career with 1,684 rushing yards and 14 total touchdowns.

“This is a sad day for the entire university community as we mourn Rashaan’s death,” Colorado University Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano said in a statement. “Rashaan will be remembered as one of the greatest football players to ever wear a Buffs uniform, and his 1994 Heisman Trophy brought great prestige and honor to the university. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Thumbnail photo via James Snook/USA TODAY Sports Images

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