Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers defensive lineman paralyzed on a kickoff return last season, was a special guest at Jets practice Thursday afternoon thanks to an invitation from fellow Scarlet Knight Jamaal Westerman.
“More than a good player, he was just a good guy,” Westerman said. “His mom’s nice, everybody’s nice, we’re a family out at Rutgers. So it was hurtful what happened to him, but just to see his recovery and how he’s taken it, and how he’s taken it with a smile.”
LeGrand has a few other connections to the Jets, including Bart Scott. The linebacker has made proceeds of his “Can’t Wait” T Shirts available to the Eric LeGrand Patriot Saint Foundation.
Santonio Holmes said LeGrand’s story is inspirational. The 20-year-old LeGrand was told after being injured on a kickoff return that he probably would never walk again or come off a ventilator.
After five weeks he was able to breathe on his own, and recently LeGrand said via his Twitter account that he stood for 40 minutes.
LeGrand said he’s not in favor of kickoff rule change, said his situation is one in 5 million and others make a living returning kicks.
8/18/11 3:20 PM
LeGrand was injured on a kickoff return but doesn’t think there need to be changes to the play. Says ppl make living as kick returners. #nyj8/18/11 3:21 PM
Eric LeGrand is at Jets practice on Bart Scott’s bday, wearing a green “Can’t Wait” T-shirt. It’s his first time watching Jets practice #nyj8/18/11 3:17 PM
Eric LeGrand in a Can’t Wait! T Shirt http://t.co/qF5iLdi
8/18/11 3:20 PM
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Erik Manassy is the author of this blog and a self proclaimed “Die Hard” New York Jets fan.