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Paralyzed player drafted by the Bucs

NEED TO KNOW
  • Eric LeGrand was badly injured during a Rutgers game in 2010
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign LeGrand to a symbolic free agent contract
  • Bucs coach was LeGrand's coach at Rutgers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed paralyzed Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand to a symbolic free agent contract. During a Rutgers game a year and a half ago, LeGrand suffered a serious spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. 

HLN’s Morning Express Sports Anchor Carlos Diaz called LeGrand a national inspiration and had a chance to speak to LeGrand who said he was taken aback when he got the call from the Bucs, “I was in a state of shock. I couldn’t believe that coach (Randy) Schiano was going to do something like that”. Schiano was LeGrand’s coach at Rutgers. 

LeGrand revealed that his rehabilitation was going fantastic as he can now sit up on his own for 15 minutes, but said he has bigger goals. “I have to work towards (sitting up) a half hour now. I keep on going every single day; I ride bikes that shock my muscles so I can keep my muscle tone. I’m working really hard with the rehab. You believe in something and if you put your mind to it anything is possible.”

As with all Rutgers players that make it to the NFL LeGrand will now have his name added to the school’s wall of fame along with the helmet of the pro team that drafted him. LeGrand described how honored he was to have that recognition, “now they’re going to put me underneath the Tamps Bay Buccaneers. It was a dream anyways, I may not be happy with the circumstances that I’m in, but I can say that I’m there and I can tell my children and my grandchildren down the road.” 

LeGrand’s new dream is to be a professional broadcaster. “Now since I can’t actually play in the NFL why not focus on this broadcasting thing and share my knowledge of the game that I love.” 

LeGrand intends to graduate from Rutgers in the fall.

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