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Pure class: Buccaneers announce Eric LeGrand signing

Legrand Schiano AP

A little over four months into 2012, we have a new front-runner for Feel-Good Story of the Year, Presented by Kleenex.

Eric LeGrand would have been eligible for the recently-completed NFL draft, but a spinal injury that left the Rutgers defensive tackle paralyzed from the neck down tragically ended any dream the player may have had of moving on to the next level.

Thanks to his former coach, however, LeGrand will get to symbolically live out that dream.

In a press release, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced “that they signed college free agent DT Eric LeGrand.”  The Bucs are coached by Greg Schiano, who was the Scarlet Knights’ head coach when LeGrand’s playing career tragically cut short while covering a kickoff during an October, 2010 game against Army.

“Leading up to the draft, I couldn’t help but think that this should’ve been Eric’s draft class,” said Schiano in a statement. “This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance. The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men.”

What an amazingly awesome and classy gesture by both Schiano and the Buccaneers.

LeGrand will graduate next fall, and has embarked on what’s turning into a very successful broadcasting career. God bless Eric as he continues his remarkable and inspirational recovery, and God bless Coach Schiano for what he described as a “small gesture” that in reality is a pretty big — and really cool — deal.

Permalink 18 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: American Athletic Conference, Rumor Mill, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Top Posts
18 Responses to “Pure class: Buccaneers announce Eric LeGrand signing”
  1. tigerhawkeye says: May 2, 2012 10:00 AM

    Indeed.

  2. alligatorsnapper says: May 2, 2012 10:00 AM

    JT:

    Your journalist expertise trumps again with the great line: “What an amazingly awesome and classy gesture by both Schiano and the Buccaneers.” Could never have said it better!..and it is a “pretty big — and really cool — deal.”

    What a gesture! What class! Remarkable all around. God bless Eric and keep his rehab on track and his career continue to prosper!

  3. bassmaster357 says: May 2, 2012 10:09 AM

    CLASS and nothing but. Pay him to be a buccaneer announcer.

  4. thegamecocker says: May 2, 2012 10:21 AM

    Coach Schiano represents everything good about coaching. I wish him success but in the brutal business of professional football, my sense is he will eventually be back in college coaching. And when he does, college coaching will be a better place. He has always been there for Eric Legrand and he always will.

  5. 1historian says: May 2, 2012 10:29 AM

    This is nice. I remember back many years ago there was a basketball player for IU who had suffered the same kind of injury and the Celtics drafted him in the 9th round. It was Red Auerbach’s doing and this story reminds me of that.

    Nice

  6. thegamecocker says: May 2, 2012 10:31 AM

    @1historian

    Thanks for sharing that!

    Red Auerbach was a great man and coach! May he RIP.

  7. overratedgators says: May 2, 2012 10:42 AM

    Does this mean LeGrand will get paid league minimum? (I swear: that’s not intended to be a joke in poor taste; I’m actually curious. I’m sure he and his family could use the money for all his medical expenses, and I want to know: does a paycheck come with this, or is it purely a symbolic gesture only?)

  8. John Taylor says: May 2, 2012 10:49 AM

    @overratedgators: I believe it’s purely symbolic in nature, kinda like when a player signs a “contract” with a former team and then immediately retires.

  9. showerswithsandusky says: May 2, 2012 12:39 PM

    Never would’ve been drafted even if he didn’t get hurt. Do the special Olympics field a football team? Might be an avenue for him.

  10. pb420 says: May 2, 2012 12:51 PM

    showerswithsandusky says:
    May 2, 2012 12:39 PM
    Never would’ve been drafted even if he didn’t get hurt. Do the special Olympics field a football team? Might be an avenue for him.
    ——————————————————–
    Even through the challenges he has faced in his young life, he has accomplished more than you have or ever will.

  11. gorilladunk says: May 2, 2012 2:30 PM

    @showerswith sandusky…Congratulations, you just won the award for the most feeble minded, jerk-off this site has ever seen (and that covers some ground). Why don’t you go back to the post about the Oklahoma lineman with cancer and make some ass-wipe statement about that? Man, I bet your parents are proud. Why don’t you go upstairs from the basement and ask them?

  12. rawgator06 says: May 2, 2012 2:50 PM

    showerswithsandusky says: May 2, 2012 12:39 PM

    Never would’ve been drafted even if he didn’t get hurt. Do the special Olympics field a football team? Might be an avenue for him.

    I Think we have a winner for Scumbag Poster of the Year.

  13. showerswithsandusky says: May 2, 2012 3:18 PM

    Wow! Lighten up fellas. I was suggesting some recreation for the guy. Kinda like wheel chair basketball. You act as if Im laughing at the dude wishing him more pain. My words were taken out of context. I believe several of you owe me an apology.

  14. bradentonbuc says: May 2, 2012 5:49 PM

    LOVE IT! Classy move Schiano! But at some point I assume they will have to cut him, roster slots are at a premium. Maybe some type of coaching or front office position in his future. I hope so.

  15. bozosforall says: May 2, 2012 6:36 PM

    bradentonbuc says:
    May 2, 2012 5:49 PM
    LOVE IT! Classy move Schiano! But at some point I assume they will have to cut him, roster slots are at a premium. Maybe some type of coaching or front office position in his future. I hope so.

    __
    It’s already been stated that he has some radio announcer experience and that he did quite well at it. Work in the radio booth for the Bucs may very well be in his immediate future.

  16. jonanthans says: May 3, 2012 12:22 AM

    Very classy move by the TB organization.

  17. downhillrider says: May 3, 2012 5:34 AM

    classy move by the coach and tampa bay who let him do that. it deserves more attention than its getting. a nice bit by JT somewhat ruined by the God stuff.

  18. ningenito78 says: May 3, 2012 9:19 PM

    Well deserved. Very classy Schiano. Congrats Eric.

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