Eric LeGrand, paralyzed Rutgers player, signed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Published: May 2nd, 2012
By Bucs Nation
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20:  Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand (L) speaks with David Wright #5 of the New York Mets before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on August 20, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. LeGrand was paralyzed during a kickoff return in October 2010. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Rutgers DE Eric LeGrand to their 90-man offseason roster. THis is one shocking move - because Eric LeGrand at this point in time cannot walk. Eric LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down in 2010, while making a tackle on a kickoff team while playing against Army(video of the play - not for the squeamish).

Greg Schiano has since stayed in contact with LeGrand throughout his rehabilitation, which has been slow but steady. LeGrand eventually led the Rutgers team out onto the field in a 2011 game against West Virginia, and Greg Schiano was right there. And now, Eric LeGrand moves on to the NFL. "Leading up to the draft, I couldn't help but think that this should've been Eric's draft class," Schiano told "This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance. The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men." Schiano talked to Pewter Report after signing on with the Bucs this January, and that story is well worth a read, as is a similar story by the Tampa Bay Times.

Of course, LeGrand won't suit up for the Bucs and play in a game. But this is a classy gesture by Greg Schiano and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a unique gesture by a team and a head coach who truly care about a young man like Eric LeGrand.

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