Eric LeGrand still likes kickoffs

Updated: August 5, 2011, 12:58 PM ET
By Greg Newman | ESPNNewYork.com

Former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, who's recovering from a spinal cord injury he suffered during a kickoff return against Army last fall, does not support Rutgers coach Greg Schiano's radical idea to get rid of kickoffs.

"I believe a lot of people make their money, in the NFL, off special teams," said LeGrand, who spent Thursday at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. "Kickoffs and kickoff returns are a huge thing. But I can understand why he wants to change that, after seeing one of his players, like seeing one of his sons, go down."

Even seeing tape of his injury has not changed his mind.

"That was my thing," he said. "I used to run down there and make a lot of plays, stop 'em behind the 20-yard line. So, that was my thing to do out there."

LeGrand has been busy tweeting updates about his condition.

[+] EnlargeEric LeGrand
Marcus Lynam for ESPN.comEric LeGrand with Outside the Lines host Steve Bunin.

"All the people that are following this whole story, that's my inspiration every day," LeGrand said.

LeGrand revealed last month that he had been able to stand up in therapy, publishing photos to his Twitter account. In an interview with the Newark Star-Ledger, he revealed that he stood the first day for seven minutes and the second day for eight minutes.

The 20-year-old LeGrand suffered a fracture to his C3 and C4 vertebrae. At that time, doctors thought LeGrand would never come off a ventilator and would not walk again. Five weeks later, he proved them wrong by coming off the ventilator.

LeGrand says he believes he will walk again.

"[My] next major goal is basically get on this locomotive treadmill," he said. "It's kind of this thing that they just stand you up in a harness and they train your legs to walk again."

Greg Newman is an intern for ESPNNewYork.com. ESPNNewYork.com's Kieran Darcy contributed to this report.

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