Paralyzed Player Signed to Pro Team in the Classiest Move Ever (VIDEO)

Eric LeGrandRutgers’ defensive tackle Eric LeGrand dreamt of playing in the pros and eventually becoming a sportscaster. A couple years ago, his entire life was about football. But all of that came to an abrupt end, since LeGrand's new goal today is to walk again.

On October 16, 2010, he broke two vertebrae and injured his spinal cord during a kickoff return against Army. He became a source of inspiration and encouragement for the Scarlet Knights, something his coach Greg Schiano would never forget, even after leaving Rutgers to become head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Needless to say, LeGrand was completely overwhelmed when his former coach called to let him know the Bucs were interested in signing the paralyzed defensive tackle!

How incredible is that. Thank goodness there are still some decent people left in this world so LeGrand's dream of being part of the NFL could actually come true.


"It came out of nowhere," LeGrand said Wednesday. Schiano described the signing as a "small gesture" in honor of LeGrand’s "character, spirit, and perseverance."

"It’s a symbolic gesture. They can’t give me any money with the salary cap and all that kind of stuff," LeGrand continued. "It’s symbolic, something Coach wanted to do and I appreciate that. It just shows the man that he is."

Schiano said he couldn’t help but think about LeGrand throughout last week's NFL Draft. LeGrand would have been a senior at the time and could have potentially been drafted to play for a professional team, with all the money and fame that come with it.

Well, he may not be able to play, but he'll still be part of an NFL team. To make it all official, the Bucs are shipping a #52 jersey to him, as well as a helmet and contract.

Such a wonderful thing to happen for a young man like LeGrand, who was told after his devastating injury that he would be a quadriplegic and need a ventilator. He started breathing on his own, however, five weeks after the injury, and he can even sit up by himself for 15 minutes, which, as LeGrand himself said, "is a miracle." He can also stand upright with the use of a metal frame.

He's even on pace to graduate and wants to pursue a career in broadcasting. This is one truly amazing guy. "It’s something I always dreamed about, go to the NFL and retire and become a sportscaster," LeGrand said. "Dreams do come true if you really believe. You do the right things in life, good things happen to you."

What inspiring words, and what a classy move on Schiano's part. I love these two. Now I can't help but root for the Bucs this season!

Here's LeGrand speaking about signing on with Tampa Bay:

What do you think about Schiano signing LeGrand? Will you be cheering for the Bucs in the fall?


Image via ESPN/YouTube

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