In early May Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano gave Eric LeGrand the shot he always wanted in the NFL. It was truly a heart warming gesture and LeGrand was signed to an undrafted free agent contract. The paralyzed former Rutgers defensive tackle made his first visit to Bucs OTA’s this week and made quite the impression on his new teammates. LeGrand gave his first motivational speech to an NFL locker room and left a memory that his teammates will never forget.
Eric LeGrand joined WDAE in Tampa with The Big Dog to discuss the progress he’s making with his broadcasting career, working for Rutgers radio in the fall, finishing his college degree at Rutgers, feeling accepted as a teammate in the Buccaneers locker room, having control of a room when delivering an inspiring speech and believing he was put on this Earth to inspire others.
How is your broadcasting career coming?
“It’s going really well. I am actually working with Rutgers radio again this year for the season and I’ll be co-hosting a show with Chris Carlin from SNY with our new coach Kyle Flood down there. I am excited for that.”
So you’re doing something with the Rutgers football team?
“I’ll be doing Rutgers radio again and once I get my degree next year then it will be time to step up into the big leagues.”
What is your college degree in?
“It’s actually going to be in labor studies. I learned about all contracts and everything, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have experience with the whole radio gig last year. I am pretty good at it, so if I can get the opportunity.”
Did you feel accepted as a teammate this afternoon when you gave your speech to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
“Oh yeah. You couldn’t hear a pin drop in there. They were just so focused on what I was saying and listening to everything that had to come out of my mouth and they clapped for me and everything. They welcomed me to the team and we brought it up together. They prayed for me and we broke it down together.”
How does it make you feel when you have control of a room like that?
“It feels great. I actually first started to see that when I first started talking at middle schools and you know how hard it is to get middle school kids quiet and when you can’t hear a pin drop in that room you know you are getting a really special message across and the people are listening, so I really love that I can do that and get that message across to people that I really want to listen to.”
Do you consider this to be your calling and process?
“Yeah I really do believe this is what I was called on to do. Trying to change the world day-by-day and inspire a bunch of people out there. Just helping people out with their daily routine and that this is a miracle over here and believing in myself and believing in the man above. When I do get up on my feet it’s really going to show the world that anything is possible and that anything can happen.”