BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The University of Colorado football program will retire No. 19 in honor of Rashaan Salaam, who killed himself last December at age 42.
It will be the first number retired by the program in 47 years. The ceremony will take place during Colorado’s homecoming game against Cal on Oct. 28.
Salaam won the school’s only Heisman Trophy in 1994 when he also won the Doak Walker Award and was a unanimous All-American and Walter Camp National Player of the Year. That season, Salaam became the fourth player in the nation to rush for 2,000 yards in an era where schools generally played 11 games and didn’t count bowl statistics in season totals.
He averaged nearly 7 yards a carry in piling up 2,055 yards despite playing sporadically in the second half of several games that season. In addition to yards, he led the nation in scoring with 24 touchdowns and in all-purpose yards (2,349).
Only three numbers have been retired in the program’s 127-year football history: No. 24 worn by QB/HB Byron White (1936-37); No. 67 worn by G/LB Joe Romig (1959-61) and No. 11 worn by QB/TB Bobby Anderson (1967-69).
Anderson’s number was retired at the 1970 spring game after he was drafted by the Denver Broncos.
Salaam wore No. 3 as a freshman in 1992 when linebacker Greg Biekert had No. 19. Senior tailback Michael Adkins II currently has No. 19, which he’ll switch when the number is retired.
Salaam was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 21st overall pick of the 1995 draft. Knee and ankle injuries cut short his career. After winning NFL Rookie of the Year honors by rushing for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns, Salaam scored just three more TDs the next season and none in his final two years before retiring in 1999.