BOULDER, Colo. — The University of Colorado football program will retire uniform number 19 after this season to honor the late Rashaan Salaam, as the announcement took place Friday at the school’s annual football kickoff luncheon hosted by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.

Salaam, the Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award winner for the 1994 season, was also a unanimous All-American and the Walter Camp National Player of the Year after having one of the best individual seasons in college football history. He tragically took his own life last Dec. 5 in Boulder at the age of 42.

After a short video showcasing some of his highlights, the longtime “Voice of the Buffaloes,” Larry Zimmer made the formal announcement. Zimmer called all 27 games Salaam appeared in as a Buff from 1992-94.  The official retirement ceremony will take place during CU’s homecoming game against California on Oct. 28.

A 6-foot-1, 215-pound tailback who played 8-man football at San Diego’s La Jolla Country Day, he would become just the fourth player at the time to gain 2,000 yards rushing in a season, when schools generally played an 11-game schedule and the NCAA did not count bowl statistics into season totals. He ran for 2,055 yards in averaging 6.9 yards per carry, doing so even though he did not play in five fourth quarters and on two other occasions, he played only briefly in the third quarter; over half of the yards (1,040) came against ranked opponents. He led the nation in rushing, scoring (24 touchdowns or 144 points) and all-purpose yards (2,349) and reeled off nine consecutive 100-yard games, including four 200-plus yard games. All the aforementioned set and remain school records.

Three numbers previously have been retired in CU’s 127-year football history: No. 24 worn by quarterback/halfback Byron White in 1936-37 (he wore No. 8 in 1935); No. 67 worn by guard/linebacker Joe Romig (1959-61); and No. 11 worn by quarterback/tailback Bobby Anderson (1967-69). Anderson’s was the last to be retired, done so at halftime of CU’s 1970 spring game and right after he had been drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos.

Salaam actually wore No. 3 as a freshman in 1992, when senior linebacker Greg Biekert was in jersey No. 19. Currently, senior tailback Michael Adkins II adorns the number, thus will be the last to wear it before it is permanently placed out of service in honor of Salaam.

He won the first (and only) Heisman Trophy in Colorado history, claiming the 60th annual award as a junior, and declared early for the National Football League Draft. He was a first round pick by Chicago (21st overall) and would play three seasons for the Bears (1995-97), winning the NFC Rookie-of-the-Year honor in 1995 when he rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 TDs. Knee and ankle injuries would eventually shorten his pro career. He was inducted into CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.


Career Stats

      Rushing         Receiving      
Season Games Att Yards Avg. TD Long No. Yards Avg. TD Long
1992 7 27 158 5.9 1 49 1 0 0.0 0 0
1993 9 161 844 5.2 8 36 13 118 9.1 0 18
1994 11 298 2,055 6.9 24 67t 24 294 12.3 0 41
Totals 27 486 3,057 6.3 33 67t 38 412 10.8 0


ADDITIONAL CAREER STATISTICS—Kickoff Returns: 1-13, 13.0 avg., 13 long.

1994 Heisman Trophy Voting

Name 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Rashaan Salaam, Colorado 400 229 85 1,743
Ki-Jana Carter, Penn State 115 205 146 901
Steve McNair, Alcorn State 111 85 152 655
Kerry Collins, Penn State 101 117 102 639
Jay Barker, Alabama 36 58 71 295
Warren Sapp, Miami 17 37 67 192
Kordell Stewart, Colorado 0 3 10 16




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