Everyone once in a while, we experience what is most feared in sports, particularly football. It is rarely talked about and something you never want to see.
One hit was all it took for an entire stadium to go silent. One hit was all it took to change the life of a young college student and football players.
Rutgers junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand made what would normally be called a great play. LeGrand made a big hit to stop an Army kick returner from breaking loose.
Once contact was made however, LeGrand immediately fell to the ground motionless. Something nobody wants to see. Medical personel and head coach Greg Schiano immediately ran out onto the field, fearing the worst.
With a silent stadium, players from both teams on a knee, the stretcher was brought out and a neck brace was placed on #52, Eric LeGrand. Fans all around the stadium were holding their breathe and praying that the injury looked worse than it really was.
When LeGrand’s mother was called down from the stands, you knew the doctors thought it was serious. This kind of injury brings tears to anyone’s eyes and puts a knot in your throat.
As LeGrand was carted off the field, there was still no movement from one of the Rutgers football team’s leaders. Schiano immediately ran over to Mrs. LeGrand and spoke to her before she left to follow her son.
LeGrand was immediately taken to Hackensack Medical Center where emergency surgery was done that night to stabilize his spinal cord. The injury was to the C3-C4 vertebrae.
Once the emotional game was over, Greg Schiano did a brief press conference before heading to the hospital where he would spend the entire night with LeGrand and his family.
The junior is currently resting in a hospital bed and will remain there for the near future. The next few days are critical to the future for LeGrand. He is currently paralyzed from the neck down.
LeGrand has a long road ahead, a long recovery. Your thoughts and prayers for Eric and his family could go a long way in helping this young man. LeGrand has become a leader on and off the field for the Rutgers football program.
Staying positive and working hard will be key to a strong recovery for LeGrand. A promising football career with NFL potential now seems so distant. All because of one big hit.
Just another reminder of why sports is just a game.
Eric LeGrand is a strong young man and will continue to fight and do what needs to be done in order for him to get through this tough time.
Do me and Eric LeGrand a favor today. When you think you are going through a tough time, think about LeGrand, think about what every minute in life really means. You never know how quickly your life can change.
Get well soon Eric! Double G Sports is thinking about you!