Colorado’s Rashaan Salaam reacted to winning the Heisman Trophy Saturday night much in the same way he plays football.
The junior running back from San Diego, CU’s first winner in the 60-year history of college football’s most prestigious award, used a no-nonsense running style to carry him to 2,055 yards this season.
And in claiming the 60th Heisman presented by the Downtown Athletic Club, Salaam said, “I’m happy, but it’s not a really big deal for me.”
In Fact, Salaam insisted the Heisman was no more important than the Walter Camp player of the Year and Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back, both of which he had won earlier.
“It feels good, but it’s not just an award” Salaam said. “No more, no less. They’re all even. They’re a piece of wood and brass to me.”
Was he excited?
“Not at all,” he said. “I’m not going to take this and make my whole life turn around.”
He seemed to be happier for the people around him.
“I’m excited for the whole program, especially for my teammates,” he said. Not to mention his biggest fan, his mother, Khalada Salaam, one of many relatives who attended the ceremonies. “She’s choked up; this trophy is for her,” he said.
If Salaam wasn’t excited about all the hoopla, his friends and family were.
Khalada Salaam admitted she was more nervous than Rashaan prior to the presentation, which was telecast live from the Heisman Room at the DAC on ESPN.
“He’s too cool for me,” she said. “I’m sure he’s happy, sometimes it’s hard to tell.
“He doesn’t want the Heisman jinx. I want him to have a career like Marcus Allen, not be a flash in the pan.”
Whether winning the Heisman marks the end of his college career or the start of one in the NFL remains to be seen.
Salaam said Saturday night he has decided, but won’t make an announcement until Jan. 6, four days after Colorado plays Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.