Zane Beadles, a former All-America offensive lineman for Utah, now in his fifth season in the National Football League, announced July 28 that he is donating $750,000 to the University of Utah football program. The gift provides $500,000 for a sports medicine center and $250,000 for an offensive lineman scholarship. 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,” says the 27-year-old. “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.”

Zane, who was born in Casper, Wyoming and attended Hillcrest High School in Salt Lake City, was a four-year starter and three-time all-conference selection at the U from 2006-09. He was named a first-team All-American as a senior in 2009 before being drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos. After starting for the Broncos for four years and making the 2012 Pro Bowl, Zane now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“Zane Beadles makes a difference in everything he undertakes—academically, athletically, and in the community—so I was not surprised that he wanted to give back to his alma mater and his football team,” says Chris Hill, director of athletics at the U. “That is the kind of person Zane Beadles is and we are thrilled he has chosen to continue to impact the University of Utah in a positive manner with his gift to our program.”

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. Zane’s gift is the largest yet from a Utah football alum.

Zane received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the U in 2009 and credits both his athletic and academic experience as the reason for his generous donation.

Story used with permission from the U Development Office 2015 Annual Report