Eric LeGrand opens up on Greg Schiano’s return to Rutgers
Eric LeGrand is so psyched about Greg Schiano's return to Rutgers.
"Our voices were heard in the state of New Jersey, we all wanted him back because we know what it used to be like," LeGrand said when he came on my radio show last Monday night.
Eric LeGrand has a special relationship with Schiano. When LeGrand suffered a severe spinal cord injury while playing for the Scarlet Knights on Oct. 16, 2010, it was his head coach Greg Schiano who said, "Eric, you have to pray," while he was lying on the field. LeGrand recalled the moment with me on New Jersey 101.5:
"Scariest moment of my life, you can't move, you can't breathe and he's looking down at me saying 'you have to pray' and I'm like, 'this is it, my life is over.' I'm just sitting there saying I'm gonna pray for a gasp of air but at one point I closed my eyes and said. 'God take me at ease because this is it.'"
That moment happened 9 years ago and as LeGrand says, "It's still clear as day in my mind."
LeGrand talked to me about his journey since then:
"It's been a grind, but playing the game of football has made me prepared for these moments. Being on my ventilator and being on a feeding tube, not being able to move from my neck down and overcoming so much adversity to get back to being healthy and live life to the fullest. I'm nine years into this but I'm still grinding away in therapy."
As for the goal, LeGrand said, "The end goal is walking again but it's not like you can see that right now, so you just gotta keep working, you gotta have faith and you gotta believe that one day it's going to happen again and I truly believe that."
LeGrand, who's the color commentator on Rutgers football, will be reunited with returning head coach Greg Schiano, who once drafted him post-injury to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
"That was awesome, my dream come true my whole life since I started playing football I was 5 years old I wanted to go to the NFL, retire and become a sports broadcaster. To be able to take care of my family financially playing the game I love and when that moment was taken away from me when I got hurt, it was like all the dreams that you worked for just came crashing down. But then when that moment happened, even though I'll never play a down, it's always special in my mind and in my heart because he didn't have to do that. Neither did that whole organization but they did and I got to be a part of that team for the two years that he was down there and that was something special and you can never take that away from me."
LeGrand is psyched about Schiano's return:
'It is a good feeling, I've been so in-tuned watching all the recruiting and all the coaches hiring keeping in touch with him now that he's back in Piscataway it's been a lot of fun."
LeGrand also talked about the good old days of Rutgers football:
"I remember what it was like being a recruit, and he's going to be molding these young boys turning into men now, it's going to be something special. I can't wait for Sept. 5, 2020. I'm ready to strap it up."
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