Just ask Eric LeGrand, who watched the recent NFL draft from a motorized wheelchair at his New Jersey home. The former Rutgers defensive tackle was paralyzed in 2010 during a game against Army.
As he watched a former Scarlet Knights teammate selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round, LeGrand turned to his mother and said, “That could’ve been me.”
Evidently, Buccaneer Coach Greg Schiano was thinking the same thing: The former Rutgers coach telephoned LeGrand and offered him a contract with the Bucs as an undrafted free agent.
“This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit and perseverance,” Schiano said in a release by the team. “The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men.”
LeGrand, who is finishing his studies at Rutgers and hopes to become a broadcaster, said a No. 52 jersey, Buccaneers helmut and contract were shipped to him in New Jersey. (LeGrand was signed on May 2, or 5/2.)
I’m delighted to say that I’ve got a Buccaneer jersey, too, and this makes me proud to put it on.