Former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand has made a career out of being Former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand.
Paralyzed during a 2010 game, LeGrand has become an inspiration to many in the years since, and now serves as a motivational speaker and as an analyst on the Scarlet Knights’ football games. He has picked up a number of awards and honors along the way and added another on Monday.
The WWE — you read that correctly — announced LeGrand has been named the recipient of its Warrior Award, which is “presented to an individual who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior.” It’s given by The Ultimate Warrior’s widow, Dana Warrior.
LeGrand will receive the honor on March 31 as part of WWE’s WrestleMania weekend in Orlando.
“When you talk to Eric and when you’re around him, it’s really hard not to be blown away by his positivity and his demeanor as a human being; it’s just inspiring,” WWE executive vice president Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H, said. “Here’s a guy who has every reason in the world to be bitter and angry and yet he’s the most positive dude you’ve ever met. You can’t help walking away from him and just being inspired.”
“Paul’s assistant sent me an email on Tuesday saying Paul wanted to talk and wanted to schedule a call for Thursday. So I’m sitting here for two days wondering what Triple H wants to say to me. My heart was racing for two days wondering what this was all about,” LeGrand said, via ESPN.com. “When he called me, he explained the award to me and what they do at WrestleMania, and then he told me at the end that they want to present the award to me, and I honestly didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to react. This was incredible as someone who grew up as a fan since I was a little kid.”