In a year where Rutgers University has made some very poor choices and has made the national headline for all the wrong reasons, they finally did something right.
At halftime of the Rutgers-Eastern Michigan game, the football program retired their first number in their 144 year history. This historic honor could not have been given to any person more deserving than Eric LeGrand. During the ceremony, the Rutgers fans never sat down and some held the No. 52.
Ever since the 2010 match against Army that left him paralyzed from the neck down, Le Grand has been an inspiration to not only Rutgers, but also to the sports world. Saturday’s ceremony was no different as Rutgers head coach reflected on Eric’s inspiration and determination.
“The most important message or the most important thing I try to say about Eric when people ask me questions about him is, Eric was every bit as inspirational, before anything happened,” Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said.
At the ceremony, LeGrand’s No. 52 was revealed on the press box. Additionally, LeGrand was given a sword with the word “Believe” inscribed on it. The 23-year-old LeGrand reiterated his goal to walk again in front of the Scarlet Knights crowd.
For once this season, Rutgers can celebrate something they’ve done. While LeGrand didn’t go on to the NFL and become a star, he has become an inspiration through a different arena. Despite facing adversity every day, his positive attitude and message has inspired us all.
No matter the situation, don’t give up on your goals and dreams. For LeGrand, he wants to walk again one day, but until that day, he will continue to motivate and inspire us all to “believe”.