In a benevolent gesture on Wednesday, the Buccaneers signed Eric LeGrand, the former Rutgers football player who became paralyzed from the neck down on a tackle during a game in 2010. Despite making remarkable strides toward recovery, LeGrand still remains confined to a wheelchair. That didn’t stop former Rutgers coach and new Bucs coach Greg Schiano from signing his former player to the team’s 90-man offseason roster.
“Leading up to the draft, I couldn’t help but think that this should’ve been Eric’s draft class,” Schiano said in a team statement. “This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance. The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men.”
LeGrand, who still hopes to walk again, reacted to the news with elation on Twitter:
This is honestly a blessing from above. I love you all keep following people believe we will make this happen
— Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) May 2, 2012
It’s unclear what type of role LeGrand will have or how long he will remain with the Bucs. But it’s fair to assume Schiano brought in LeGrand to be involved in some sort of motivational capacity. After his injury, LeGrand, with his courage and resolve, became a source of inspiration for both his teammates and many across the country.
Even a misinformed Lil Wayne was touched by today’s news:
Today Eric LeGrand was drafted into the NFL. Mark this down as a beautiful day in sports.
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) May 2, 2012
Photo credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIREGoogle+