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Eric Legrand

October 18, 2010 by staff 

Eric Legrand, Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand is paralyzed from the neck down after being injured while doing a front against the Army on Saturday, the school announced Sunday.

The injury occurred after a kickoff with 5:10 left in regulation in the New Meadowlands Stadium.

LeGrand remained motionless for seven minutes while his neck was immobilized and placed on a board. He was released and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

LeGrand underwent surgery to stabilize his spine. He is in intensive care at Hackensack and is expected to remain for the foreseeable future, according to a statement issued by the Rutgers athletic department.

“We want to thank everyone for all your prayers, kind words and good wishes,” LeGrand family said in a statement. “We appreciate every single thought. Eric is in good spirits and we are praying for a full recovery.”

“Spirits of Eric were as good as can be expected,” said Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who visited LeGrand before and after surgery. “He was aware of me being there, his mother, everyone.

“He’s a fighter.”

Schiano, who had tears in his eyes during his news conference after a 23-20 overtime win at Rutgers, spoke with his team on LeGrand around noon on Sunday.

“As I talked with our team, we’re just going to believe that Eric LeGrand is going to walk on that field with us again,” Schiano said. “That is what we believe. Let’s see the speed with which this happens.”

LeGrand was injured after making a violent tackle on Malcolm Brown, the Rutgers kickoff return tied the game after 17 years. Apparently, LeGrand was bowing his head as did the coup.

As the child was being treated, players from both teams took a knee and looked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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