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Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Classy move by Buccaneers

By Pat Yasinskas

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just announced a very classy move.

It’s a symbolic gesture, but they have signed former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand. His story is well-known.

LeGrand suffered a serious spinal cord injury in an Oct. 16, 2010, game against Army. At first he was told he would be a quadriplegic and would have to stay permanently on a ventilator. Five weeks later, LeGrand began breathing on his own. He later was able to stand upright with the aid of a metal frame.

LeGrand began taking classes again last spring. LeGrand was able to lead the Scarlet Knights onto the field for a game last October.

Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano coached LeGrand at Rutgers and the two have remained very close.

"Leading up to the draft, I couldn't help but think that this should've been Eric's draft class," Schiano said. "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."

Also, the Bucs timed the signing for May 2, to represent LeGrand's jersey number (52).