ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The University of Colorado's football team was among the nation's finest in the 1990s, and Rashaan Salaam and Matt Russell were two of the biggest reasons why.
The two were teammates at CU for two seasons, the second of which saw the Buffaloes roll to an 11-1 season that ended in a Fiesta Bowl win and the No. 3 season-ending ranking in both polls.
In the wake of Salaam's death, Russell, a consensus All-American at CU, took time to share his thoughts on his friend, former teammate and 1994 Heisman Trophy winner:
"Rashaan was as dynamic off the field as he was on the field as a player. He was a fiercely loyal friend, someone who was always in your corner and had your back. He was the ultimate teammate and supportive of everyone in his locker room. If there was ever a guy who was going to get a personal foul for protecting someone on his team, Rashaan was that guy.
"Rashaan was the ultimate Buffalo and was so proud to be called a 'Colorado Buffalo.' We were part of the same recruiting class, what we called 'nine deuce,' the Class of 1992. On the field, Rashaan was the definition of a winner. It was important to him. He practiced hard, he played hard and he made our teams better. Rashaan and I laughed a lot after practices because we had so many battles and fights. Even when we last saw each other a few years ago at the CU Hall of Fame induction, we still shared those great memories and had a lot of laughs from our time together at Colorado.
"My heart goes out to Rashaan's mother and his family. They have a lot to be proud of with the person that Rashaan was, the way he treated people and the friend he was to everyone he came across. He will be missed by so many, and I extend my deepest sympathies to Rashaan's many friends and family."