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Former Rutgers DE Eric LeGrand to receive 2017 WWE Warrior Award

Eric LeGrand
Jesse Reed
Written by Jesse Reed

Former Rutgers defensive end Eric LeGrand is a person who has overcome much to become an inspiration to others.

As a member of the Scarlet Knights, LeGrand suffered a back injury while making a tackle that resulted in two fractured vertebrae and ultimately left him paralyzed. As a symbolic gesture to recognize his championship heart and to help him realize his dream of becoming an NFL player, he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2012 when former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano came on board.

Now he’s going to be honored in a different way, as reported by ESPN’s Arash Markazi. LeGrand will be honored by the WWE at the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 31. There, he will receive the 2017 WWE Warrior Award, named after WWE legend and Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior, who passed away in 2014. He will also be recognized a few days later at WrestleMania 33, per Markazi.

“I was in complete shock when I found out,” LeGrand said, per ESPN.com. “What an honor.”

WWE executive vice president Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, explained why LeGrand has been chosen for the honor this year.

“When you talk to Eric and when you’re around him, it’s really hard not to be blown away by his positivity and his demeanor as a human being; it’s just inspiring,” Levesque told ESPN.com. “Here’s a guy who has every reason in the world to be bitter and angry and yet he’s the most positive dude you’ve ever met. You can’t help walking away from him and just being inspired.

“The Warrior Award is reserved for someone who lives life with courage and compassion, and Eric is more than deserving. He is a great example for us all,” Levesque said.

Since being paralyzed, LeGrand has become a motivational speaker. He’s also a huge wrestling fan. Now, he’s going to be a part of wrestling history, which just goes to show no matter what types of setbacks one has in life a determined individual can overcome much.

About the author

Jesse Reed

Jesse Reed

Managing Editor here at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker, Foxsports.com and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.