Younger readers might not be familiar with Eric LeGrand, but most of us old heads remember his story.
LeGrand was recruited to Rutgers by head coach Greg Schiano in 2008, and by his sophomore season he had earned a consistent role as a defensive tackle and on special teams.
As a junior in 2010, LeGrand was having a good season before tragedy struck. Rutgers played Army at midseason and LeGrand was on kickoff coverage for the Scarlet Knights. He accidentally lowered his helmet before making contact with the returner and was unable to move following the collision.
LeGrand fractured his C3 and C4 cervical vertebrae and was paralyzed from the neck down. LeGrand’s injury is often referenced when administrators discuss the wisdom of changing the rules surrounding kickoffs to protect players from critical injuries.
LeGrand has stayed active in the college football community. He returned to Rutgers and completed his degree. He has been involved in sports talk, podcasting and writing. In 2022, he started his own small business called LeGrand’s Coffee House in New Jersey.
Fortunately, LeGrand has recovered some movement and sensation over the years with therapy. He has shown impressive determination throughout his adult life and I think he would be a fantastic addition to the CFP committee.
Next: Andy Staples