Ex-NFL star Shawne Merriman says O.J. Simpson absolutely should get to use his Heisman vote now that he’s outta the slammer … telling TMZ Sports it all boils down to a basic formula. On the field … O.J. was a legend who (fun fact) won his…
Very sad news today out of the sports world:
Rashaan Salaam, a former Heisman Trophy winner and star running back at the University of Colorado, was found dead in a park new Boulder.
He was 42 years old.
Salaam’s body was discovered in a parking lot at Eben G. Fine Park and a 911 was subsequently placed just before 9 p.m. on Monday, per Boulder Police spokesperson Shannon Cordingly.
There were no signs of foul play.
But a note was found on the scene and authorities told Salaam’s mother that they believe he committed suicide.
The park is not even two miles away from Folsom Field, where Salaam starred for Colorado, winning the most prestigious trophy in college athletics in 1994.
That year, he rushed for 2,055 and 24 touchdowns and also won the Walter Camp and Doak Walker awards.
He was selected in the first round a year later by the Chicago Bears and would go on to become the youngest professional running back to gain at least 1,000 yards in a season.
Following a number of injuries, however, Salaam was out of the NFL by 2004.
“The Buff Family has lost an outstanding young man and a great Buff today,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said after learning of the news.
“We are heartbroken for Rashaan and his family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time.”
Added the University football team on Twitter:
“We’re minus one true Buffalo today.”
Several former NFL players also paid tribute to Salaam on social media.
“I will miss my Heisman brother Rashaan Salaam. He was always smiling and just a lot of fun to be around! #RIP,” wrote another former Heisman winner, Matt Leinart.
Ex-NFL star Chad Brown added:
“Beyond saddened to hear the news about my @cubuffs teammate and friend Rashaan Salaam. We lost a true Buffalo today.”
Denver Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell was a teammate of Salaam’s and offered the following statement to ESPN:
Rashaan was as dynamic off the field as he was on the field as a player. He was a fiercely loyal friend, someone who was always in your corner and had your back. He was the ultimate teammate and supportive of everyone in his locker room.
If there was ever a guy who was going to get a personal foul for protecting someone on his team, Rashaan was that guy.
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Rashaan Salaam.