LeGrand Receives Rutgers Degree

Eric LeGrand officially joined the Rutgers family six years ago on National Signing Day. And now he can call himself a college graduate.

The slow path to his Rutgers diploma, a labor studies major in the school of Arts & Sciences, ended yesterday when LeGrand received his Rutgers University degree.

"It feels great," LeGrand said. "It's been a journey. It's funny because a lot of people just assumed that I was done after my four years. They didn't realize that I only had completed two years. When I got hurt, it was my junior year right in the beginning of the semester in October. I had to withdraw from my classes for that fall semester."

LeGrand was nearly 60 credits short of graduation at the time of his tragic injury at MetLife Stadium that left him paralyzed. LeGrand could not take more than a handful of classes per semester because of his road to recovery.

LeGrand finished his academic responsibilities in the last six weeks, and now becomes another positive check mark in the strong graduation rate of Rutgers football players.

"Everyone always just assumed that I was done because I wasn't putting it out there on social media," LeGrand said. "I've been in school this entire time since January of 2011. It's been six years and it's been a journey since I got hurt. I made sure I got it done."

The thank you list for LeGrand's latest accomplishment could go on for pages, but three people he recognized were former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, Rutgers executive director of academic support Scott Walker and football academic coordinator Jenna Beverly.

"Scott Walker was big and my academic advisor was Jenna Beverly," LeGrand said. "She had done a tremendous job for me setting everything up and helping me out. She made it possible for me to earn my degree.

"… I give her so much thanks for that because she has been there for me. Coach Schiano always wants his players to finish and my mom texted him yesterday to let him know I finished. He was very excited that I did it."

LeGrand, currently partnered with IMG College as a color analyst for Rutgers football games, said he will consider a career in labor relations later in life. He remains focused on a career in sports broadcasting, where he has worked part time since his injury.

"Now it's time for me to take the next step," LeGrand said. "We'll see where I can go with my broadcasting. What's the next step for me now? Maybe I'll be working with big networks. I'm going to keep working to get to the big time."

In addition to his career as a broadcaster, LeGrand continues to promote Team LeGrand.

Team LeGrand became public Sept. 14, 2013, when LeGrand announced the foundation during his jersey retirement ceremony at High Point Solutions Stadium. Since the announcement, Team LeGrand raised more than $200,000 for research.

"Team LeGrand has been great," LeGrand said. "… It's amazing. We've just got to keep on going now, keep on pushing. The next stage is planning an event. Hopefully we'll have an event planned for the spring. We're trying to bring in a lot of money. That's the next big thing to happen."

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