Eric LeGrand to receive 2017 WWE Warrior Award

1:56 | College Football
Eric LeGrand continues to make progress five years after spinal injury
Monday March 13th, 2017

Lifelong wrestling fan Eric LeGrand has been named the recipient of the 2017 WWE Warrior Award, WWE announced Monday. 

"I was in complete shock when I found out," LeGrand told ESPN. "What an honor."

According to the WWE, the Warrior Award is annually "presented to an individual who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior."

The award is named after former wrestler The Ultimate Warrior (born James Brian Hellwig), who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2014. Warrior's widow Dana Warrior will present LeGrand the award at the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 31 at the Amway Center in Orlando. 

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The two previous winners of the award are Connor "The Crusher" Michalek (2015) and Joan Lunden (2016).

LeGrand was a defensive lineman and special teams player at Rutgers when he was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle in 2010. He has since emerged as an inspiring figure and founded the charity Team LeGrand of the Christopher & Dana Reeve foundation.

LeGrand has regained movement in his shoulders and feeling throughout his body, and he maintains belief that he will walk again. 

"It's going to be incredible," LeGrand told ESPN. "I honestly can't put it into words yet. It has not sunk in that I'm going to be a part of the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony with all these great superstars. It's going to be truly amazing."

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