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Paralyzed Player Inspires Coach, Signs Him To NFL Team

By: Patrick McDermott Getty Images Sport
By: Patrick McDermott Getty Images Sport

This story inspired me today, I thought of many people I could reward if I was in a position of power, not only was I inspired by the player but the coach in this story too. I couldn’t include the whole story, so page down and read the whole thing. If you don’t get a lump in your throat.

As LeGrand detailed in an October 2011 story for SI.com, he was in on a special teams play against Army on October 16, 2010 at Giants Stadium. LeGrand was hit in what he said felt like a “stinger” (neck collision); he only knew something was horribly wrong when he tried to get up from the turf and could not.

He tried to give the “thumbs-up” signal and could not. He could not do anything, because he had broken the c-3 and c-4 vertebrae in his neck. LeGrand was rushed to emergency surgery, and his mother was told that he would be paralyzed from the neck down — according to the doctors, he would most likely never get off the ventilator. Five weeks later, he proved the doctors wrong and started breathing on his own. Soon after, he was able to stand up with the help of a metal frame, and LeGrand firmly believes that he will someday walk again.

One year to the day after his injury, LeGrand led his Rutgers team onto the field in one of the more inspirational occurrences we’ve ever seen. He visited the New York Jets’ training camp last August and blew the pros away with his spirit.

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