Former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand will be the recipient of this year’s Warrior Award at the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
The 26-year-old played football until the year 2010 when on October 16 he suffered a severe spinal cord injury during a game against the Army Black Knights in East Rutherford, New Jersey, at MetLife Stadium. Today, the life-long WWE fan is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Since his horrible injury, LeGrand has become a renowned motivational speaker.
Speaking to ESPN.COM, who broke the original story about LeGrand getting the Warrior Award, he said that he was in complete shock when he found out. He recalled how Triple H’s assistant sent him an e-mail last week saying he wanted to talk to him in a few days via telephone. “So I’m sitting here for two days wondering what Triple H wants to say to me. My heart was racing for two days wondering what this was all about,” LeGrand said. After receiving the call, LeGrand said, “I didn’t know how to react. This was incredible as someone who grew up as a fan since I was a little kid.”
LeGrand becomes the third recipient of the Warrior Award after Connor Michalek and Joan Lunden. Dana Warrior will be presenting the award to LeGrand during the Hall of Fame ceremony.
“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,” Triple H 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.”
In addition to honoring him with the Warrior Award, the WWE will be making a $25,000 donation to Team LeGrand. “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,” the former WWE champ added.
But LeGrand now can’t wait for Hall of Fame day to arrive. “I honestly can’t put it into words yet. It has not sunk in that I’m going to be a part of the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony with all these great Superstars. It’s going to be truly amazing. WrestleMania is one of the biggest events in the world and to have my name attached to it and be a part of it as a small kid from Avenel, New Jersey, is a true blessing and a true honor. It just shows you if you do right in the world, good things do happen to you.”