December 6, 2016 / 9:57 PM / in a year

Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL player Rashaan Salaam dies at 42

DENVER (Reuters) - Rashaan Salaam, who won the Heisman Trophy, U.S. college football’s highest honor, and played in the National Football League, was found dead in a city park in Boulder, Colorado, authorities said on Tuesday.

Colorado tailback Rashaan Salaam, stands with the Heisman Trophy, College Football's highest award, after being named the outstanding college football player of 1994 at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York, U.S. on December 10, 1994. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Salaam, 42, died on Monday, the Boulder County Coroner’s Office said in a statement, adding that it was conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Police said there was no indication of foul play.

A passerby found Salaam’s body around 9 p.m. on Monday, Boulder police said. Salaam had lived in Superior, Colorado, just southeast of Boulder.

Salaam won the Heisman Trophy in 1994 as a running back, becoming the only player from the University of Colorado to do so. A California native, he was the son of another NFL player, former Cincinnati Bengals running back Teddy Washington.

The Chicago Bears chose Salaam in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft, and he also played for the Cleveland Browns in a career lasting four seasons.

“He had a happy heart,” his college coach, Bill McCartney, said in a statement. “I loved being around him. He didn’t take himself too seriously, and he always credited those around him.”

Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver and David Ingram in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney

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