Rashaan Iman Salaam (born October 8, 1974) is a former American college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons during the 1990s. Salaam played college football for the University of Colorado and won the 1994 Heisman Trophy. He was picked by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Bears and Cleveland Browns of the NFL.
Salaam was born in San Diego, California, the son of former Cincinnati Bengals running back Teddy Washington  (later Sulton Salaam, after converting to Islam). He attended La Jolla Country Day School in suburban San Diego, and played eight-man high school football. He ran for over 100 yards in every game except one, and was recognized as a high school All-American. He was later inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame.
Salaam attended the University of Colorado, where he played for the Colorado Buffaloes football team from 1992 to 1994. As a junior in 1994, Salaam had one of the best individual seasons in college football history, rushing for a school-record 2,055 yards and becoming only the fourth college running back to run for more than 2,000 yards in a season. He also amassed 24 touchdowns and helped lead Colorado to an 11–1 record, including a 41–24 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl, and a No. 3 finish in the final Associated Press Poll. The Buffaloes' only loss of the season was to the Big Eight Conference rival Nebraska Cornhuskers, which would finish undefeated and No. 1 in both the Associated Press and United Press International polls at season's end. Salaam had four consecutive 200-yard rushing games during the season, his best effort coming against the Texas Longhorns, when he set a school record with 362 yards total offense in a 34–31 Colorado win in Austin. He was a unanimous first-team All-American and became Colorado's first Heisman Trophy winner in December, besting running back Ki-Jana Carter and quarterback Kerry Collins of Penn State. Salaam decided to forgo his final season of college eligibility and entered the NFL Draft.
The Chicago Bears selected Salaam in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft, and he played for the Bears from 1995 to 1997. As a rookie, he rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. But problems with injuries, fumbles, and marijuana use led him to spend only three years with the Bears. During his two final years with Chicago, Salaam mustered only 608 combined yards. Salaam spent 1999 with the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers, but only played in two games for the Browns that year.
Salaam briefly played in the XFL for the Memphis Maniax, but injury cut his season short and the league folded after one season. He was the fourth-most prolific rusher in the league with 528 yards. After his stint with the Maniax, he tried out for the NFL's Detroit Lions, but did not make the team.
Salaam launched what appeared to be a final attempt at an NFL career in 2002, beginning with a much publicized training at the Cris Carter Speed School. He was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers in 2003 but in August 2003, Salaam was subsequently let go by the 49ers in the second-to-last round of cuts. Despite receiving accolades from then 49ers head coach Dennis Erickson, Salaam was never signed by another NFL team.
Salaam was signed by the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) on February 20, 2004. He was then suspended by the Argos in May, effectively ending his career.
Youngest player in NFL history to rush for 1000 yards- 21 years, 77 days old
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 National Football League, Historical Players, Rashaan Salaam, Retrieved February 5, 2012.
- ↑ National Football League, Historical Players, Teddy Washington,
- ↑ Smith, Timothy (18 June 1995). "PRO FOOTBALL: NOTEBOOK; Dad-Son Duos Run Up the Score". Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- ↑ databaseFootball.com, Players, Rashaan Salaam. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
- ↑ City News Service, "La Jolla Country Day grad Rashaan Salaam tops list of 50 best San Diego football players," La Jolla Light (November 29, 2010). Retrieved February 5, 2012.
- ↑ "Former Bear Rashaan Salaam Sells Off Heisman Ring," CBS Chicago (August 10, 2011). Retrieved February 5, 2012.
- ↑ Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1995 National Football League Draft. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Rashaan Salaam. He was also UPI NFC Rookie of the year.Retrieved February 5, 2012.
- ↑ http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-0501-mitchell-rashaan-salaam-bears-chicago--20120430,0,1086766.column
- ↑ Russell, Dalton (November 28, 2013). "Chicago Bears: Top Five Turkeys in Franchise History". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
Template:1994 NCAA Division I-A College Football Consensus All-Americans