Over a year ago Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury making a tackle against Navy. He was carted off the field in an ambulance and declared paralyzed from the neck down. LeGrand was told that he would never breathe under his own power again again. Well, not only is he breathing on his own, this Saturday the senior will lead his Rutgers out of the tunnel before the team's big match-up against Big East rival West Virginia.
LeGrand recently joined ESPN Radio New York to discuss his health, his team and what is sure to be an incredible moment as he leads Rutgers onto the field this Saturday.
Below are some of LeGrand's quotes via Sports Radio.
On his progress physically:
"I'm doing pretty well right now, just getting up and standing for 40 minutes on the regular basis on the standard frame, now I'm actually going to get on this Christopher Reeves Neurological Recovery Network Treadmill where I have a test to walking my legs and moving my hips. I'm starting that in the first week of November, so I'm very excited about that."
" ... I can feel some sensation throughout my body."
On being told he would never breathe under his own power again:
" ... Right after my injury they told me that - I'd never be able to breathe by myself, walk by myself, do basically anything. But after five weeks I was able to come off that ventilator, and it was truly a blessing coming off it like that to be able to breathe on my own now."
A website where you can donate:
" ... I just want people to go on that website, it's JustADollarPlease.org and help everyone out there get their battles in check. Because it's not only me, there's so many other stories of people out there in wheel chairs that have amazed me and inspired me."
On leading his team out of the tunnel:
" ... Even though I'm not walking yet, I wanted to lead my team because this is my senior year. This is the team I've been around, this is the team I've played with, went through all the winter conditioning and summer conditioning with. So I knew I wanted to do it sometime this year. I just believe the way the stars are placed, being in second place in the Big East, West Virginia is 25th in the nation, so I think it's just perfect timing for us to go out there and hopefully inspire this team and inspire this whole crowd. And hopefully it will lead us to a victory."
The interview in its entirety can be found here (at the 4:30 mark).
The West Virginia vs. Rutgers game will take place Saturday, October 29 at 3:30 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on ABC and ESPN3.