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Eric LeGrand to visit practice

Eric LeGrand, right, a former Rutgers defensive lineman,

Eric LeGrand, right, a former Rutgers defensive lineman, during a ceremony in which he was honored by Abilities!, a non-profit organization based in Albertson. (May 19, 2011) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers football player who suffered a severe spinal cord injury during an October game at New Meadowlands Stadium, is expected to arrive here shortly to watch the Jets’ afternoon practice.

Linebacker Jamaal Westerman, a former teammate of LeGrand’s, arranged the visit.
“I think one of the coaches mentioned it last year around the time that he got hurt,” said Westerman, who routinely visits his old campus in the offseason. “Coach [Mike] Pettine said let him know when he wants to come out, he’s more than welcome. I hit him up, let him know whenever he wants to and he said he wanted to come Thursday.”

LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down after colliding with Army defensive tackle Malcolm Brown, a Bay Shore native. But Rutgers announced in January that he had regained movement in his shoulders and could feel sensations throughout his body. LeGrand even tweeted a photo last month of himself standing upright with the help of a machine.

Westerman said he couldn’t help but feel a stronger connection to his ex-teammate and friend after LeGrand’s injury.

“Definitely. We both played on the D-line together. I was there with him when he was a freshman. He’s a good guy.

“More than a good player, he’s a good guy,” said Westerman, who also played on the defensive line when LeGrand was a freshman. “…
We’re a family out of Rutgers so it was hurtful what happened to him but just to see his recovery and how he’s taking it and how he’s taking it with a smile, it’s very inspiring.”

Bart Scott, who turned 31 today, has been selling “Can’t Wait” T-shirts online to raise money for LeGrand and his family.

(For those of you who have asked how to purchase the T-shirts, here's the link.)

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