PISCATAWAY, NJ – In October 2010, Eric LeGrand sufferred a career-ending injury that many thought would leave him paralyzed for life. A year later, his triumphant return was voted the best moment of 2011 in all of sports.
On a surprisingly snowy Halloween 2011 at Rutgers Stadium, he led his former teammates out of the tunnel and onto the field for an epic battle with the West Virginia Mountaineers. Rutgers kept the game close until the end, even taking a lead into the fourth quarter, but the main attraction that day was LeGrand's return.
Though the Scarlet Knights did not prevail on the field that day, the moment was so inspiring that it was selected overwhelmingly by readers of Sports Illustrated as the year's best. The moment garnered 29.3% of the overall votes, good enough for first place by a margin of 10%.
LeGrand is a Middlesex County native. He grew up in the Avenel section of Woodbridge Township. During his recovery, he has been living with an aunt in Jackson, NJ and continuing his education at Rutgers through the video-chat program Skype.