Eric LeGrand's No. 52 Jersey Will Be Retired by Rutgers

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2013

Former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand's football career ended tragically on Oct. 16, 2010, when a hit left him paralyzed from a spinal cord injury. An inspirational figure ever since, the University of Rutgers will honor him for his contributions this season by retiring his No. 52 jersey, according to Rutgers senior associate athletic director of communications Jason Baum.

This will mark the first jersey retirement in Rutgers football history, and it's difficult to think of someone who deserves it more than LeGrand. 

The retirement ceremony will take place on Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. ET as the Scarlet Knights host the Eastern Michigan Eagles at High Point Solutions Stadium. LeGrand expressed his gratitude to the university on Twitter upon hearing the news.

Prior to his injury, LeGrand was on track to become a big-time player for Rutgers. He was extremely productive early in his junior campaign, so an NFL career may have been on the horizon. LeGrand has done so much more for the university off the field than he could have ever done on it, however.

His courage and positive outlook in the midst of a terrible situation led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign him to a contract last season, according to Pat Yasinskas of The Bucs are coached by LeGrand's former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, so the gesture was extremely special from LeGrand's perspective.

LeGrand has received plenty of honors since that fateful day in 2010, including the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2012 ESPYS, but it's hard to imagine that anything is more special than having his number retired.  

The Rutgers community has rallied around LeGrand throughout his recovery process, and there is no question that it will pack High Point Solutions Stadium on Sept. 14 in order to show its appreciation for everything LeGrand has sacrificed and accomplished.


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