Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam found dead in Colorado park

Coroners office is still investigating the death of the former NFL running back, who was found dead on Monday in Boulder

Rashaan Salaam, who won the 1994 Heisman Trophy at the University of Colorado before a four-year NFL career, has been found dead in a Colorado park aged 42.

The Boulder County coroners office said on Tuesday that it was still investigating the cause of death of Salaam, who was found at Eben G Fine Park shortly before 9pm on Monday in Boulder.

A report from the county sheriffs office indicated there was no suspicion of foul play, while the Boulder Daily Camera reported that Salaams death is suspected to be a suicide after police found a note. They said they found a note and would share that with us when we get there, Salaams mother, Khalada, told USA Today Sports.

Salaam played three years at Colorado, posting one of the most prolific individual seasons in history as a junior in 1994, when he ran for a school-record 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns in leading the Buffaloes to an 11-1 record and a No3 finish in the final Associated Press poll.

After forgoing his senior season to enter the 1995 , the 6ft 1in, 224lb running back was chosen by the in the first round and rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns as a rookie, becoming the youngest player in NFL history (21yrs, 7mos) to run for more than 1,000 yards in a single season.

But his production dropped sharply and injuries piled up in two subsequent years with the Bears, prompting his release in April 1998. He played in two games with the Cleveland Browns during the 1999 season before a brief stint with the Memphis Maniax of the XFL in 2001. A series of comeback attempts in the NFL and CFL fell short.

The Buff Family has lost an outstanding young man and a great Buff today, University of Colorado athletics director Rick George said in a statement. We are heartbroken for Rashaan and his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time.

In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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