Former Chicago Bears RB Rashaan Salaam Talks Heisman

The Heisman buzz is growing louder as the second half of the NCAA season continues. It seems as if the rankings of who is likeliest to win the prestigious award swings as quickly as a revolving door: one week it’s Jameis Winston, the next it’s Marcus Mariota.

If anyone would know best about what it takes to win the trophy and who is most likely to do so, it would be former Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam, whose Heisman bid approaches its 20th anniversary.

Salaam won the Heisman in 1994 after putting up numbers to rival that of a NCAA video game player. He ran for 2,000 plus yards, amassed 24 touchdowns, was a 1994 All-American, and had his Colorado Buffaloes ranked No. 3 overall in the Associated Press poll. He was subsequently drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1995, and the rest became history. Campus Sports sat down with Rashaan to discuss his picks to win the trophy, and which current player(s) have managed to grab his attention this season.


Who at this point is your front runner for your Heisman vote?

As a running back, I’m a little biased and always usually root for an RB. Starting the year it was definitely Todd Gurley, but with everything going on my vote is going to Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin.


There are a lot of great college RBs this year, who’s your favorite to watch? Who reminds you of yourself running style wise?

I’m a big fan of Todd Gurley. He reminds me of myself. He’s big, strong, tough and has surprising speed for being such a big back.


What were some of your fondest memories while playing at Colorado?

I’d have to say when I reached the 2,000 single season yard mark against Iowa State in 1994 home at Folsom Field. I’d also have to say winning the Heisman (Laughed to himself).


Can you tell us what it was like winning the Heisman?

It seemed surreal. A dream come true. Never thought that I would win the Heisman when I first came to Colorado. There was a legacy of great players to come from the program so it was truly an honor winning the Heisman for myself, my family, and my school.


What’s your take on the whole Gurley saga?

I hate it. It’s a shame to that he’s sitting out right now. He’s earned every bit of his signature’s worth, but rules are rules. Hopefully the NCAA can find a way to compensate athletes in a fair way.

*Section Photo credit to National Football Foundation; Featured Photo (above) credit to Associated Press

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