The Rutgers University football team was fired up to play yesterday. You could see the team bouncing around in the tunnel. You could see the fire in the eyes of the players, coaches, and fans. The elements on this day didn’t matter. There wasn’t a storm in the area that would ruin the return of Eric LeGrand.
Riding in a motorized wheelchair through the pounding snow storm and carrying an ax, LeGrand led the team to midfield before taking them to the sidelines.
LeGrand, who was paralyzed from the neck down while trying to make a tackle on a kickoff return a year ago, put on his black-and-red Rutgers uniform Saturday and led the Scarlet Knights onto the field for their game against WVU.
“It felt great leading the team out on to the field today,” LeGrand said. “That’s the team I played with throughout my career here. Leading them out on the field was a great opportunity and it really was a great time. It was a very special moment. I can’t even explain it — it was a very emotional moment.”
LeGrand has been working this season for the Rutgers radio network as an analyst. He worked in the ABC booth for some of the game, and has made stops at ESPN and CBS.
“That was fun. I had a great time with them getting some more experience with broadcasting. I am just trying to take advantage of opportunities and learn,” he said
Ouside the game of football, the game of life and his tragic injury hasn’t kept LeGrand down. He has made tremendous gains, and can now stand for up to 40 minutes at a time.
The entire Mountaineer Nation wishes Eric nothing but the best moving forward in his journey and rehab. He is a true inspiration to many.