LeGrand as Rutgers' inspiration in 2011?

August, 2, 2011
8/02/11
6:59
PM ET


Rutgers was picked to finish in eighth (and last) place in the Big East preseason football poll, released Tuesday. But coach Greg Schiano believes the Scarlet Knights will be inspired by former teammate Eric LeGrand, who suffered a spinal injury covering a kickoff return in a game against Army last season.

"He's one of the most popular guys on our football team -- well before any of this happened," Schiano said Tuesday at the Big East's media day in Newport, R.I. "He's been an inspiration -- I think not only to our football team, but to a whole lot of people."

LeGrand continues to make eye-opening progress in his recovery from paralysis. Doctors did not expect him to walk again, but LeGrand is already standing during therapy, and says he will indeed walk again.

"He's a really unique, special person," Schiano said. "Not only is he a great football player, but he's a special person. Someone who's part of our family, who's gonna be around. We can't wait to get him back on campus, get him around our football team. Because he is a part of us."
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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