Beadles finally able to give back to Utah

ST. JOHNS, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars right guard Zane Beadles finally got to say thank you.

Beadles signed a five-year, $30 million contract ($12.5 million guaranteed) with the Jaguars in March and on Monday he and the school announced that Beadles was donating $750,000 to the University of Utah, the largest financial gift to the school by a former athlete. Beadles has been wanting to do this for years.

"It's something I knew I wanted to do since I got into the league if I ever got to the position where I was able to do something like that," he said. "I'm in that position now. I loved my time at the University of Utah and I don't think I'd be where I'm at today without that experience so I wanted to give back to them."

Beadles was an All-American as a senior and a two-time Mountain West Conference first teamer during his time at Utah, which came after a stellar prep career at Hillcrest (Utah) High School. He earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and also earned a post-graduate scholarship from the NCAA.

Beadles, who spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, visited the university during his time off in July and was impressed with the school's new football facility, which he admitted includes several pictures of him in action with the Utes.

"I've had a great relationship with the athletic director and a lot of the people in the administration at the University of Utah," Beadles said. "The head coach is still the same head coach when I was there (Kyle Whittingham), so I still know a lot of people there and have a lot of good relationships there. It's been a lot of fun working with them on this and figuring out what we were going to do. I'm excited to be able to do it."

Of the $750,000, $500,000 will go to the sports medicine program and $250,000 to endow a scholarship for offensive linemen. Both will be named in his honor.