Greg Schiano’s connection to Eric LeGrand runs deep. So deep, that he’s now completed one of the classiest post-draft moves in, well, forever, and the new Bucs coach has signed LeGrand as an undrafted free agent.

For the few unfamiliar with LeGrand’s story, the defensive tackle played under Schiano at Rutgers, and over 31 games he had 60 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and he forced three fumbles. But his college football career ended abruptly in October of 2010 when he was severely injured during a game against Army, fracturing two vertebrae and becoming paralyzed. He was told that he’d be a quadriplegic and was put on a ventilator, but miraculously he began to breathe on his own and later he was able to stand up with the help of a metal frame.

Schiano always intended to bring LeGrand to Tampa, and have him act as a role model for his new team.

From the Tampa Bay Tribune:

“Leading up to the draft, I couldn’t help but think that this should’ve been Eric’s draft class,” Schiano said in a release by the Bucs. “This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance. The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men.”

During an NFL offseason that’s been rife with bounty talk, it’s refreshing to see a truly inspirational story continue.

And now you want to know the rest of the story…

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