Before starting his regular press conference this week, Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt took a moment to send his well wishes to Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, who suffered injuries to his C3 and C4 vertebrae during a kickoff in the fourth quarter of Rutgers' 23-20 win over Army.
Though Wannstedt never had a player of his own suffer such a traumatic injury, knowing the shock that's created from any type of injury and how it affects a team emotionally, he reached out to Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano.
Being that both coaches will be on opposite sidelines the week after LeGrand's injury, and the constant battle for recruits every year, both coaches have put aside football this week, to provide support for each other and for their players.
"A very unfortunate injury," Wannstedt said. "I corresponded with Head Coach Greg Schiano. From our team, our thoughts and prayers are with Eric LeGrand and we're hopeful that he'll make a speedy recovery.
"I know Greg personally and as a coach, you feel as if your players are your kids and you feel that responsibility to protect them. I'm sure he's doing everything possible in order to help out in any way that he can."
The following are a few comments some of the Pitt players this week, followed by a few pictures of the banner being signed in the lobby of Pitt's practice facility on Wednesday.
"Our prayers go out to those guys over in New Jersey. This game is really violent, and we all know that. It's not like anyone out there is trying to hurt anyone. We all respect each other; what is trying to get accomplished. You hate to hear something like that. Our prayers definitely go out to those guys."--Pitt WR, Cameron Saddler
"It's tough. It's kind of a freak accident. We hate to see that happen to other people."--Pitt RG, Lucas Nix
"It's something you wish wouldn't happen to any player. Everybody loves contact, but when you see something like that, it's sad. I wish the best for him and his family. Nobody wants that to happen."--Pitt DE, Jabaal Sheard