Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam was found dead Monday night in a Boulder park less than two miles from Folsom Field, where he carved his name into the University of Colorado record books as one of the greatest players in the program's history, the AP reports. The Boulder County coroner's office was still investigating the cause of the death of the 42-year-old Salaam, who won the Heisman in 1994. Police say foul play was not suspected.
Salaam's death stunned the Colorado football community. "You talk about a young man who was smart, handsome, talented. He was very, very gifted. He was humble. He was a team guy," Bill McCartney, who coached Salaam from 1992-94, said. Salaam rushed for 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior in 1994, leading the Buffaloes to an 11-1 record, a win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, and a No. 3 finish in the final polls. He won the Heisman in a runaway. The Chicago Bears made him a first-round draft pick in 1995, and he rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns in wining NFC Rookie of the Year honors. Injuries cut short his career. He played his last NFL game with the Cleveland Browns in 1999 before retiring from football. He fell on hard times after that. In 2011 he auctioned his Heisman ring.