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Buffs To Honor Salaam's Hall of Fame Selection At Saturday's Game

Sep 21, 2022

BOULDER – Rashaan Salaam, Colorado's 1994 Heisman Trophy winner, will be posthumously honored at Saturday's CU-UCLA game at Folsom Field with a National Football Foundation On-Campus Salute.

The game at Folsom Field begins at noon and will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

"If Rashaan was here, I think he would enjoy this honor and celebration of him being inducted into the National Football College Football of Fame," said his mother, Khalada Salaam-Alaji.

The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural College Football Hall of Fame Class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in the Hall of Fame experience. 

The 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 6 at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. (Click here for more information on the awards dinner, including options to purchase tickets online and special travel rates.)

Saturday's ceremony will take place between the first and second quarter. A commemorative logo will grace the field and a highlight video will be shown on the scoreboard. NFF president and CEO Steve Hatches, a CU graduate, will present Salaam's mother and his brother, Kabali, with a commemorative plaque that will be an exact replica of the plaque that will be permanently enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Joining his mother and brother on the field will be former Buffs teammates Michael Westbrook, Chris Hudson, Derek West and Tony Berti, along with CU Athletic Director Rick George.

"Rashaan Salaam was a legendary running back at Colorado, and he put together a sensational 1994 season when he won the Heisman Trophy," Hatchell said. "He is truly missed. We are thrilled to pay tribute to his legacy at Folsom Field."

The winner of the 1994 Heisman Trophy — and still CU's only Heisman winner — Salaam was just the fourth player in NCAA history to run for 2,000 yards in a season. A unanimous First Team All-American in 1994, Salaam also claimed the Walter Camp and Doak Walker awards.

That season, the 1994 Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year led the nation in rushing yards (2,055), scoring (144) and all-purpose yards (2,349), all while not playing in the fourth quarter in five games. Salaam led the 1994 Buffs to an 11-1 record and the No. 3 final ranking after a win over Notre Dame in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl.

He led Colorado to two other bowl berths, including a win in the 1993 Aloha Bowl, where he was named MVP, and two other top 20 finishes in 1992 (No. 13) and 1993 (No. 16). 

Salaam was a two-time First Team All-Big Eight selection, including unanimous recognition in 1994, and he led the Buffs to second place finishes in the conference all three seasons. He still owns 42 school records, including many single-season marks for rushing yards (2,055), touchdowns (24), points (144) and all-purpose yards (2,349), all set during his 1994 Heisman campaign.

Also in 1994, Salaam set Colorado single-season records with 10 games of 100 yards rushing, four games of 200 yards rushing and nine consecutive games with 100 yards rushing. He finished his career with 3,057 rushing yards, which rank fourth all-time at Colorado. During his time in Boulder, Salaam played for College Football Hall of Fame Coach Bill McCartney and alongside Hall of Famer Michael Westbrook.

A first-round pick in the 1995 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, Salaam played three seasons with the Bears (1995-97), and he was named the NFC Rookie of the Year in 1995. He spent the 1999 season with the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers before playing with the XFL's Memphis Maniax in 2001.

A member of both the CU Athletic and the State of Colorado Sports halls of fame, Salaam's No. 19 jersey was retired by the university in 2017. He died Dec. 5, 2016, at the age of 42. 

Salaam becomes the ninth Buff player in the College Football Hall of Fame, joining Dick Anderson (1965-67), Bobby Anderson (1967-69), Herb Orvis (1969-71), Joe Romig (1959-61), Michael Westbrook (1991-94), Byron "Whizzer" White (1935-37), Alfred Williams (1987-90) and John Wooten (1956-58). Coach Bill McCartney, who guided Colorado from 1982-94, is also in the Hall.

The 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class includes LaVar Arrington (Penn State), Champ Bailey (Georgia), Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), Sylvester Croom (Alabama), Mike Doss (Ohio State), Chuck Ealey (Toledo), Kevin Faulk (LSU), Moe Gardner (Illinois), Boomer Grigsby (Illinois State), Mike Hass (Oregon State), Marvin Jones (Florida State), Andrew Luck (Stanford), Mark Messner (Michigan), Terry Miller (Oklahoma State), Rashaan Salaam (Colorado), Dennis Thomas (Alcorn State), Zach Wiegert (Nebraska), Roy Williams (Oklahoma) and coaches John Luckhardt (Washington & Jefferson [PA], California [PA]), Billy Jack Murphy (Memphis) and Gary Pinkel (Toledo, Missouri).

The accomplishments of the 2022 Class will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and each inductee will receive a custom ring created by Jostens, the official and exclusive supplier of NFF rings.

Including the 2022 Hall of Fame Class, only 1,056 players and 226 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.62 million who have played or coached the game during the past 153 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have earned this distinction.