After suffering a severe spinal injury against Army in 2010, former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand has become an inspiration to not only the Scarlet Knights but to football fans all over the country. He was David Epstein's pick for SI Sportsman of the Year in 2011 and had an emotional feature on ESPN in 2012, the same year he was signed to a contract with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers and then-coach Greg Schiano, who coached Rutgers when LeGrand suffered the injury. The Scarlet Knights officially retired his number this year.
Now the 23-year-old is going to be a college graduate, as well. LeGrand posted on his Twitter account that he has finished his degree, prompting the Rutgers family to send its congratulations.
SI's Seth Davis featured LeGrand over the summer, as Davis and his children visited with the former Rutgers player at his home:
"I have a question," Noah interjected. "You said on the video that you wanted to go to the spot where you got hurt and walk off the field. Why do you want to do that?"
Eric flashed his dimpled smile. "Wow, nobody has asked me that," he said. "I always said that I want to finish every play. That was the only play I didn't finish, so I want to go back there and finish it. That's a good question. I haven't gotten that one yet."
LeGrand has a book deal and a partnership with IMG. He's also talked about getting into broadcasting.
Congrats to @EricLeGrand52 for finishing classes at @RutgersU! You continue to inspire us everyday #RFamily #bELieve pic.twitter.com/YKXA3fhyp4(h/t Mike Vorkunov of The Star-Ledger)
— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) January 22, 2014