ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi conducted the first interview with Rutgers defensive lineman Eric LeGrand since he was paralyzed in a collision during a game against Army on Oct. 16. In the interview, aired on ESPN on Friday, Jan. 7 during the 9 a.m. edition of SportsCenter, LeGrand told Rinaldi that he has full sensation in his entire body and movement in his shoulders. Rinaldi spoke to LeGrand at the Kessler Institute in West Orange, N.J., where he is in rehabilitation.
In the feature, LeGrand said while lying on the field at the New Meadowlands, he had “the fear of death” and that he “could pass out and die here.” He added he couldn’t do “a thumbs up” motion while on the stretcher when he was removed from the field because it felt like “1,000 pounds was on this thumb” when he tried to move it.
Doctors initially believed that he would not regain any feeling or movement below the neck, but LeGrand has exceeded their expectations. His paralysis has been diagnosed as incomplete and he has been able to breathe on his own without the use of a ventilator since late November.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said about LeGrand, “He believes that he’s going to be up and moving again. There’s no doubt in his mind.”
For information on Eric LeGrand and the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund, please visit ScarletKnights.com/Believe.