As a Utah lineman, Zane Beadles left behind a collection of memorable seasons, bowl trophies and individual accolades.
As a five-year veteran of the NFL, Beadles has given the Utes the largest-ever donation from a former football player that he hopes will have just as lasting an impact.
The U. announced Monday morning that Beadles, a guard with the Jacksonville Jaguars, is donating $750,000 to a sports medicine center, as well as an offensive lineman schoolarship. Both the center and the scholarship will be in his name.
"This is something I’ve known I wanted to do ever since I left school," said Beadles in a school news release. "The University of Utah was such a great place for me. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the University of Utah. I am excited to pledge this money to the U. and give back to the place that helped shape me into the man I am today.
Beadles cashed in this March with a free agent contract, a reported 5-year, $30 million deal after starting for Denver for four years and making the 2012 Pro Bowl.
The four-year starter at Utah was a part of 40 wins over the course of his career, including the 2008 undefeated season. He was a three-time all-conference selection on the offensive line.
In recent years, the Utes have benefited tremendously from the generosity of former players: Alex Smith, Jordan Gross, Steve Smith and Paul Soliai have donated a combined $1,650,000 to the football program. Beadles’ gift is the largest yet from a football alum.
"Zane was an outstanding student-athlete and community member during his time here and is another in a long line of former players to give back to our university," Kyle Whittingham said in the release. "He is a great source of pride to all of us at Utah and we are appreciative of his loyalty and generosity."
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