ESPN is reporting that Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, paralyzed since an Oct. 16 game against Army, has “full sensation in his entire body and movement in his shoulders.”
The 20-year-old junior fractured his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae tackling Black Knight running back Malcolm Brown on a kickoff return. The impact of the collision, which was violent enough to have broken Brown’s collarbone, can be seen here.
LeGrand has made slow and steady improvement since the injury. He began breathing without the help of a ventilator in late November, and regained sensation in his hands in December.
LeGrand described his thoughts immediately after the catastrophic injury, including the fear that he would die, to ESPN.
“Fear of death, that’s the biggest fear that I got because I couldn’t breathe the way I was breathing and I couldn’t move,” LeGrand told ESPN. “Laying out on the ground, motionless, not being able to breathe was the hardest part in thinking, can I die here?”
The full ESPN interview with LeGrand will air during the 9 a.m. SportsCenter on Friday.