In Colorado’s 127-year football history, only three numbers have been retired. This fall, there will be a fourth. The University of Colorado announced it will retire the late Rashaan Salaam’s No. 19 in a ceremony during CU’s homecoming game against California on October 28.
As a Junior, Salaam rushed for 2,055 yards and 23 touchdowns in route to becoming CU’s first and only Heisman Trophy winner in 1994. That same year, the San Diego native took home the Walter Camp National Player of the Year, the Doak Walker Award, and was a unanimous All-American selection before declaring early for the NFL Draft.
During his three seasons at Colorado, Salaam amassed 3,057 rushing yards which ranks fourth on the school’s all-time list behind Bobby Purify, Rodney Stewart and Eric Bieniemy, all of whom played four seasons. After being selected 21st overall by the Chicago Bears in the 1995 NFL Draft, Salaam rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns his rookie season. He finished with 1,684 rushing yards and 14 total touchdowns during his injury-plagued four-year NFL career.
In a rare radio interview with KOAL’s Jordan Buscarini from Octotber 2013, Salaam talked about his days at Colorado and his life beyond football. He tragically took his own life last December 5 in Boulder at the age of 42.
Buffs senior tailback Michael Adkins II will continue to wear No. 19 this season before it is permanently retired in honor of Salaam. Byron “Whizzer” White’s No. 24, Joe Romig’s No. 67, and Bobby Anderson’s No. 11 were numbers previously retired by Colorado’s Football program.