Eric LeGrand Speaker Profile
Eric LeGrand Biography
Eric J. LeGrand is motivational speaker and a former American football defensive tackle who played college football at Rutgers. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him to a symbolic contract as an undrafted free agent in May 2012. He became paralyzed while making a tackle in an October 2010 game, but has since regained movement in his shoulders and sensation throughout his body.
In June 2012, LeGrand was presented the Unsung Hero Award by the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
He was presented the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 20th annual ESPYs on July 11, 2012. During his speech, he announced that he would someday walk again. The Jimmy V Award recognizes LeGrand for overcoming great obstacles through physical perseverance and determination, and for living by the Jimmy V 'Don't ever give up!' motto. LeGrand is a living epithet of the awards motto and proves to be a worthy addition to the men and women who have previously received the award. That group includes NCAA wrestling champion, Anthony Robles, who was born with only a right leg; Northern State coach Don Meyer, who beat cancer and devastating injuries from a car crash and went on to set the men's college basketball record for most career victories; and Kevin Everett, the former Buffallo Bills tight end who suffered an injury similar to LeGrand's in a 2007 game.
In August 2012, LeGrand was named the most influential person in New Jersey sports by the Star Ledger.
The Eric LeGrand Patriot Saint Foundation is dedicated to helping those with spinal cord injuries. Nike presented their Eric Legrand Foundation Game jersey for Tampa Bay fans who want to show their support and spirit for Eric LeGrand on his long road to recovery. All of the proceeds of Eric LeGrand's number 52 jersey which are on sale in the team shop go to this foundation. His jersey will remain on sale regardless of LeGrand's team status, for now, LeGrand's role is to provide inspiration for his teammates and others.
The Rutgers Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the establishment of the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund to support Eric LeGrand and his family. The Believe Fund's goal was/is to raise money to support the paralyzed player as he undergoes medical treatment for the injury he suffered against Army. The money will be used as the LeGrand family sees fit.
On July 30, 2013, it was announced that Rutgers will be retiring the No. 52 jersey worn by LeGrand. The ceremony occurred on September 14, 2013, at halftime of the Rutgers-Eastern Michigan game. It was the first number to be retired by Rutgers in the 144 year history of their program.
On May 18, 2014, LeGrand received a degree in labor relations from Rutgers and was asked to speak to his fellow graduates at Rutgers' spring commencement exercises.
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