The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former Rutgers DT Eric LeGrand on Wednesday, adding another chapter to his inspiration recovery from paralysis. The signing came as a pleasant shock to many — including LeGrand.
“It came out of nowhere,” he said during a conference call Wednesday that included the Tampa Bay Tribune. “Coach called my mom Monday night — he didn’t tell me until Tuesday around 1 o’clock and I was like, ‘Are you serious?’
“He said it’s the least we could do. I don’t even know what to say right now. It was always my dream to go to the NFL, reture and become a sportscaster. Dreams really do come true.”
Original Post (10:09 a.m.)...
Eric LeGrand’s remarkable journey back from a horrifying on-field injury in 2010 took another step forward Wednesday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed the former Rutgers defensive tackle.
You read that right. A guy confined to a wheelchair after he was paralyzed on a kickoff return — a guy who hasn’t walked in 19 months — is realizing his dream of making an NFL team.
Initially told he would be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life after fracturing two vertebrae and injuring his spinal cord, LeGrand has exceeded every expectation during his long recovery process. Five weeks after the injury, he began breathing on his own, and later he was able to stand upright with the aid of a walker. Last October, he led the Scarlet Knights onto the field for a game — and now he is on an NFL roster.
Tampa Bay chose May 2 as LeGrand’s signing date because his college jersey number was 52.
Best of all, perhaps, is that the signing stunned LeGrand.