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LeGrand's return voted SI moment of year

Eric LeGrand has inspired countless people as he continues in his quest to walk again.

That showed in a major way Tuesday when Sports Illustrated unveiled its 2011 Moment of the Year -- LeGrand's return. The choice was left up to readers this year, who turned out in force to vote in the Facebook campaign SI set up. Earlier this month, editors of the magazine chose 15 moments of the year and asked voters to rank their top five via Facebook. The winner would be selected as the cover.

Thousands left comments on that page and tweeted about the voting. LeGrand got in on the campaign as well, asking fans to vote for him through his Twitter feed. A late push vaulted him to the top and the SI cover. The shot features him in his wheelchair accompanying his teammates onto the field against West Virginia -- a year after he was paralyzed while making a tackle.

“I am just so happy for Eric, I really am," coach Greg Schiano said Tuesday. "If he ever wondered what effect he is having on people worldwide, [this shows it]. This is pretty neat.”